Gazing into my crystal ball, here's what's in store for the Dodgers in 2012... 
  • Matt Kemp feels the pressure of his new contract and gets off to a sluggish start.  Rest assured, by June Kemp has regained his MVP form and posts a strong .292 / 33 / 98 season. 
  • James Loney continues to frustrate. After a sizzling April, Loney's dark side returns and he is traded to the Phillies in June as insurance for Ryan Howard.  
  • Juan Rivera does his best impersonation of Juan Rivera.  Hitting .274 / 19 / 88, he takes over at first base after the Loney trade, opening up a full time slot for Jerry Sands.  Sands does his best impersonation of Billy Ashley and is later traded in a package to the Mets.
  • A.J. Ellis surprises everyone with a .276 / 14 / 54 season while hitting at the bottom of the order.  
  • Aaron Harang cannot make it past the fifth inning in any of his first 15 starts and posts a dismal 6-12 record.
  • Dee Gordon steals 57 bases, hits .273, and plays flawless defense all season long.  He scores 96 runs despite an OBP of .316 as the lead off hitter.
  • Clayton Kershaw is once again the talk of baseball after throwing the first no-hitter of his career in June.  Kershaw starts the All-Star Game and posts a 2.61 ERA with 234 strikeouts on his way to his second consecutive Cy Young Award.
  • Chad Billingsley stumbles out of the gate with a 5.21 ERA during the first half and he is traded to the Mets along with Sands and other minor leaguers after the All-Star break. Nathan Eovaldi takes over as Billingsley's replacement in the rotation and spots a 7-9 record with a promising 3.78 ERA.
  • Javy Guerra struggles as the Dodgers closer during the first six weeks of the season, but Kenley Jansen is there to pick up the pieces in May. Javy becomes the 7th inning guy as Jansen saves 38 games and only blows two. 
  • Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano are the epitome of mediocre.  Combined, they go 24-28 on the season.  Each of them makes a trip to the disabled list and they tax the bullpen nearly every time out. 
  • Andre Ethier flourishes hitting behind the now fearful Matt Kemp. He clubs 38 home runs, drives in 112 runs, and hits .286 overall. He signs a 6-year $110 million contract with L.A. during the season. 
  • Mark Ellis hits six home runs, drives in 42 runs, and plays solid defense as the most invisible man on the team.
Despite a mid-season trade for David Wright, the Dodgers can only flirt with playoff aspirations thanks to the deficient back end of the rotation.  Up north, the San Francisco Giants find their offense and squeak out the NL West title with a 88-74 record, one game ahead of Arizona, and four games ahead of the Dodgers.

Sorry, fans, but that's what the crystal ball says....


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