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How many home runs will Cody Bellinger & Mookie Betts hit in a 60-game season?

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Oddsmakers set over/under totals for 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers first summer camp workout in preparation for the 2020 season due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

We have an MLB schedule, we know how a 60-game season is the plan, roughly 37 percent of a normal year. Time to adjust your expectations for individual stats this year.

The oddsmakers at BetOnline have posted several over/under totals for various stats. I took a look at them and, for some of the Dodgers’ biggest names compared them to what they’ve done in the first 60 games of the last three years.

Mookie Betts, on average, has been right at his 2020 over/under numbers (.301, 11 homers, 35½ RBI) over the last three years (.299, 12 homers, 32 RBI), but that was buoyed by his MVP season in 2018, when Boston’s first 60 games saw him hit .359 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI.

Same for Cody Bellinger, whose three-year averages (.284, 14 homers, 36 RBI), don’t quite meet his over/under numbers for 2020 (.295, 16½ home runs, 38½ RBI). But he blew past those marks last year in his MVP season, hitting .376 with 20 homers and 52 RBI in the Dodgers’ first 60 games.

Walker Buehler only has two full seasons to use, and even that was skewed by getting called up three weeks into 2018. So his average start is under both his win and strikeout totals, though his first 60 games of 2019 (5 wins, 58 strikeouts) was pretty much right at his over/under numbers for this year (5 wins, 59½ strikeouts).

Clayton Kershaw reached this year’s over/under totals (6 wins, 70½ strikeouts) just once in the last three years — in 2017, when he was 7-2 with 92 strikeouts in the first 60 games. Each of his last two seasons have included trips to the injured list in the first third of the season.

Corey Seager has an over/under of 8½ home runs, though he hasn’t reached that number in the Dodgers’ first 60 games since his rookie season of 2016, with a 14-homer start. Seager hit seven home runs in the Dodgers’ first 60 games in his other two healthy seasons of 2017 and 2019.

Dodgers over/unders for 2020

Player Over/unders
Player Over/unders
Mookie Betts .301, 11 HR, 35½ RBI
Cody Bellinger .295, 16½ HR, 38½ RBI
Corey Seager .289, 8½ HR, 32½ RBI
Justin Turner 8½ HR, 26½ RBI
Max Muncy 11½ HR, 33½ RBI
Joc Pederson 11 HR, 25½ RBI
Will Smith 13½, 38½ RBI
Gavin Lux 7 HR, 25½ RBI
Clayton Kershaw 6 wins, 70½ K
Walker Buehler 5 wins, 59½ K
Kenley Jansen 12½ saves
Source: BetOnline

Those Will Smith numbers look aggressive, even if he did hit 15 homers and drive in 42 runs in his 54 games last year. Remember, catchers don’t play every day. Over the Dodgers’ final 60 games last year, Smith hit 12 homers with 36 RBI in 45 games, including 39 starts.

Links

  • PECOTA projections for the 60-game season are out at Baseball Prospectus. They tab the Dodgers at 38.4-21.6, with a 92.2-percent chance of winning the National League West and 97.3-percent chance to make the playoffs, both the highest in the game.
  • From Marly Rivera at ESPN, all the intake coronavirus test results are complete, with 66 positive results out of 3,740 tests (1.8 percent) across MLB. Fifty-eight positive tests were players, and while we don’t have an exact number of players tested the most it could have been was 1,800 (30 teams, maximum 60 players in the club player pool), so we’re looking at a baseline positive rate of just over 3 percent.
  • Highlights from Wednesday’s intrasquad game include Edwin Rios’ home run, and clubhouse attendant Francisco “Chico” Herrera’s arm in left field: