LOS ANGELES — Spring training camp in Arizona is over, and the Dodgers are back home in California. But we still have four days until opening day, with the Freeway Series in between.
What better way to help kill the time than a look at some gambling predictions and prop best for the 2017 Dodgers?
Clayton Kershaw’s over/under marks from Bovada are lofty — a 2.10 ERA, 17½ wins, and 255½ strikeouts.
Kershaw has won 18 or more games twice in his career — he finished with 21 wins in both 2011 and 2014 — and his only season with 256 or more strikeouts was in 2015, when he struck out 301 batters, the only pitcher in the last 14 years to reach 300 strikeouts.
The 2.10 ERA seems ridiculous, but Kershaw has posted sub-2.00 ERAs in three of the last four years, and in the other season (2015) he was at 2.13. Kershaw’s ERA since the beginning of 2013 is 1.88.
The projection systems see Kershaw approaching some of these over/unders:
PECOTA: 2.48 ERA, 15.5 wins, 250 strikeouts
Bill James: 2.15 ERA, 20 wins, 257 strikeouts
Steamer: 2.30 ERA, 16 wins, 248 strikeouts
ZiPS: 2.29 ERA, 219 strikeouts
The folks at Bookmaker.eu also have a Kershaw-related bet. With 1,918 career strikeouts, Kershaw is 82 shy of 2,000 in his career. Max Scherzer is at 1,881 strikeouts, 119 away. Bookmaker lists Kershaw as a -270 favorite (bet $270 to win $100) to reach 2,000 first among those two, with Scherzer at +200 (best $100 to win $200).
Bookmaker also has the over/under for Kershaw at 17 wins.
Other season over/unders from Bovada:
Corey Seager: .300 batting average, 26½ home runs, 84½ RBI
Adrian Gonzalez: .280, 19½ home runs, 89½ RBI
Justin Turner: .290, 25½ home runs, 89½ RBI
Logan Forsythe: 20½ home runs, 65½ RBI
Joc Pederson: 24½ home runs
Yasmani Grandal: 24½ home runs
Kenta Maeda: 12½ wins
Rich Hill: 10½ wins
Kenley Jansen: 39½ saves
If Grandal, who hit 27 home runs, reaches the over for home runs, he’d join select company. Roy Campanella (1950-51) and Mike Piazza (1995-97) are the only Dodgers catchers to hit 25 or more home runs in consecutive seasons.
Bovada also pegs .270 as the batting average over/under for Yasiel Puig, but the most interesting Puig prop bet comes from Bookmaker.
They ask “Will Yasiel Puig be benched for non-injury related reasons (disciplinary) during 2017 MLB regular season?”
No is the favorite at -350, with Yes paying at +250.
Feel free to make your 2017 predictions in the comments below.