Dodgers: Five Bold Predictions for the Second Half
Prediction: Bellinger reaches the 40-homer plateau
Without a doubt, the biggest surprise this season has been the emergence of Cody Bellinger. It’s not that many doubted his talent since he was the top prospect, but nobody saw him being an elite talent this fast. Bellinger finished the first half with 25 home runs, but some fear he will struggle after participating in the Home Run Derby. Given that he is already a hitter that always swings for the fences, he should see no ill effects in the second half.
Mike Piazza currently holds the Dodger rookie record for home runs with 35, but I think Cody will pass that with ease and end the season with at least 40 homers. Although he currently has one home run in July, I think Cody picks off where he left off in the Derby and starts mashing right out of the gate. The Marlins pitching staff is not very good, so Bellinger could even hit a couple of home runs to start the first series post All-Star Game.
While pitchers will continue to adjust to Bellinger, he will also adjust to how pitchers are pitching him. Whether it’s a lefty or righty pitcher, Bellinger seems to have no holes against either. He became more patient as the season wore on and that will allow him to get better counts to hit in in the future.
There are not many hitters scarier than Bellinger with a 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, or 3-0 count. Although Aaron Judge seems to get all the love from sports media, there is another star blossoming in Los Angeles. Bellinger gets at least fifteen more bombs in the second half.