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2016 Dodgers Starting Pitchers and Closer Predictions

Today is Opening Day! Which means Dodger baseball is only a day away when they take the field in San Diego tomorrow. Perfect timing for the pitching staff estimations. Dodgers substituted premier talent for depth in the rotation for 2016. So far it's paying off with a number of pitchers on the DL - Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Mike Bolsinger and Hyun-Jin Ryu. I disagree with Dodgers management leaving Zach Lee and Carlos Frias out of the starting rotation to begin the year. Alex Wood has had a horrible spring training with an ERA of over 7.00.  Most of the damage came after manager Dave Roberts named him the 4th starter three weeks into spring training. With that, here are my projections for the current Dodgers starting 5 and their closer Kenley Jansen.

Clayton Kershaw (SP1) - The 2016 Cy Young Award Winner - Kershaw will be Kershaw and put up dominate numbers again this year. There is no better pitcher in baseball! With Greinke now in the Arizona desert, the NL West is going to be exciting as ever with all the great pitching in the division. Kershaw will be the one pitcher that comes out on top though when the year is all said and done.

2015                                               2016
    IP - 232                                          IP - 220
  W - 16                                            W - 18
L - 7                                                L - 5
         ERA - 2.13                                     ERA - 2.09
           WHIP - 0.88                                   WHIP - 0.90
    K - 301                                           K - 270
     BB -  42                                          BB - 45
      SV - NA                                          SV - NA

Kenta Maeda (SP2) - Will Maeda be able to make the transition to the MLB from Japan? Yes, Kenta will be effective this year. It is unfair to even expect him to perform at Greinke's normal performance, let alone last years numbers. Maeda will still be a viable option for the number 2 spot in the rotation. With the possibility of elbow issue's in the future, it will be interesting if Dave Roberts tries to limit the total innings for Kenta.

2015                                               2016
    IP - NA                                          IP - 180
  W - NA                                          W - 12
L - NA                                           L - 7
         ERA - NA                                     ERA - 3.20
           WHIP - NA                                   WHIP - 1.16
    K - NA                                           K - 155
    BB - NA                                        BB - 40
      SV - NA                                        SV - NA

Scott Kazmir (SP3) - At the beginning of the year Kazmir will be the #3 starter. Once pitchers come back from injury, Kazmir will be more suited as the #4 or #5 starter. The numbers he will post will be acceptable in the middle of the rotation. It will turn into even more of a positive when Kazmir is solidifying the back end of the rotation. Dodgers have not had a solid pitcher at the back end of the rotation for some time now, Kazmir could be the answer this year.

2015                                               2016
    IP - 183                                           IP - 175
  W - 7                                               W - 11
L - 11                                              L - 9
         ERA - 3.10                                     ERA - 3.45
           WHIP - 1.21                                   WHIP -1.25
    K - 155                                           K - 160
     BB -  59                                          BB - 60
      SV - NA                                          SV - NA

Alex Wood (SP4) - I am not a fan of Alex Wood. I will be the first to say it... Wood will not be in the rotation after the All-Star break. It will not break my heart if he is pulled from the rotation even before the All-Star break. Depending on how Stripling performs at the beginning of the year when Ryu returns, Wood could be the one that gets the bump out of the rotation. Wood will become a long reliever in the bullpen. Only question is, when?

2015                                               2016
   IP - 189                                          IP - 80
 W - 12                                            W - 3
 L - 12                                              L - 5
           ERA - 3.84                                     ERA - 4.00
             WHIP - 1.36                                   WHIP - 1.40
   K - 139                                           K - 60
     BB - 59                                          BB - 24
       SV - NA                                         SV - NA

Ross Stripling (SP5) - Then there's the pitcher that no one saw coming - Ross Stripling. Besides one poor outing in spring training, Stripling had one of the best springs of any player on the opening day roster. If he can carry that over to the regular season, it will ease the pain of all the pitchers currently on the disabled list. Overall, he will not be in the starting rotation for the whole season. Ross will still be a nice fill-in in the meantime, if he can continue his success.

2015                                               2016
    IP - NA                                          IP - 100
W - NA                                          W - 6
L - NA                                           L - 6
         ERA - NA                                     ERA - 3.88
           WHIP - NA                                   WHIP - 1.32
  K - NA                                           K - 75
    BB - NA                                        BB - 30
      SV - NA                                        SV - NA

Kenley Jansen - This is Jansen's free agency year. You can expect him to put up stellar numbers again to chase that large paycheck. It still remains to be seen if he will stay with the Dodgers at the end of the year. Either way, Kenley Jansen will be the muscle in the bullpen that the Dodgers will rely on to close out games.

2015                                               2016
   IP - 52                                            IP - 65
 W - 2                                              W - 5
 L - 1                                                L - 1
          ERA - 2.41                                     ERA - 2.25
            WHIP - 0.78                                   WHIP - 0.80
  K - 80                                             K - 95
    BB - 8                                            BB - 15
    SV - 36                                          SV - 40
What's Next? Dodger baseball is BACK! The next post will be covering the Dodgers first game of the 2016 Campaign. Follow on Twitter @BleednBlueBlog


  1. I know it's unlikely, but I would like to see Kershaw get 300 strike puts again.

    Do you see Ross starting all year or will he be sent down?

  2. Ross will not be starting all year. Once players return from the DL he will be sent down. I do think that Wood will be out of the rotation before Ross is though.

    As much as I would like to see Kershaw reach 300 strikeouts. That is a huge caveat, and very unlikely in my opinion.

  3. I hope you're right. About Ross. He was highly rated before his Tommy John surgery.

    I agree it's unlikely, but would be awesome.
    Do you think Jenson will be back? I know it's early. But it's worth talking about.

  4. That will be one of the posts coming up so I don't want to give too much away. I would say right now it could go either way. I will say this. If Chapman was wearing dodger blue this season, I wouldn't see Jensen returning.

  5. I like Jenson a lot. I think he has the potential to be the best closer in dodger history. But he worries me to say we hurt his feelings. By going after Chapman.

  6. Yeah that definitely could play into it. It will be interesting to see what plays out.

  7. I'm not holding my breath. He has never really had a decent year of relief. It will be interesting to see how it turns out and what Dodgers management see's in him.

  8. He has had one of the best springs. I'm also interested to see the pitcher from cuba they signed also.

  9. Spring training is a completely different ball game than the regular season. Hard to gauge how well someone is going to do when they perform well in spring training.

  10. Agreed it is different, but it's the only thing we have to go off of right now.


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