Will the Dodgers’ 2018 Season be One For the Record Books?

October 1988: Pitcher and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser
October 1988: Pitcher and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser /

The 2017 Dodgers finished one game away from hoisting their first World Series trophy since 1988 while winning 104 regular season games.

That impressive total represented the most ever since the team has called Los Angeles home. They were only two wins shy of breaking the franchise record of 105 wins set in 1955, the first World Series winning season for the team.

With the core of the 2017 team intact, the Dodgers not only have the opportunity for another trip back to the Fall Classic but could see the team and its players set many records and reach personal milestones.

Last year the Dodgers organization captured their major league record 18th Rookie of the Year in Cody Bellinger and did so as he set the NL rookie record for home runs with 39, part of the Dodgers’ franchise record 221 home runs in a single season. The club also set a team record with 312 doubles.

The explosion of power came despite having only two players, Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager, play in more than 140 games, and with a healthy lineup in 2018, and the addition of power-hitting outfielder Matt Kemp, the Dodgers could very well break those records once again.

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It is questionable whether Matt Kemp will even begin 2018 in a Dodger uniform, but if he does, and he continues to display his knack for home runs and strikeouts, the Dodgers could very well break the record they set last year for team strikeouts with 1380. In fact, Kemp needs only 60 strikeouts this year to become the all-time leader in franchise history, eclipsing Duke Snider’s 1124.

But Kemp could ease the sting of that “accomplishment” by hitting at least 18 home runs this year, giving him 200 in a Dodger uniform, good for seventh on the all-time Dodger list. Kemp wouldn’t be the only one chasing individual Dodger immortality, as Yasiel Puig could easily reach 100 Dodger home runs with 15 this year, Bellinger could challenge Shawn Green’s team record 49 home runs hit in 2001, and Justin Turner, who was hit by pitch a remarkable 19 times last year while missing 32 games, could set a new Dodger standard by passing the 20 HBPs Hughie Jennings accumulated back in 1900.

On the defensive side of the ball, the 2017 Dodgers came close to setting records for fewest errors (73 in 2004) and fielding percentage (.988 in 2015) and could challenge those marks once again. And Clayton Kershaw, always a threat to create history on the mound, should certainly hit the 150 win mark for his Dodger career, needing only 6 in this year’s campaign.

Next: The Dodgers rivals are going all out to try and keep pace

The Dodgers and the game of baseball for that matter may have embraced the power component of the game, but pitching and defense win championships, and if they return to the World Series this year, their 20th World Series appearance, they would tie the hated Giants for the third most appearances in history. If the Dodgers can win one more World Series game than they did last year, they would have their 7th championship trophy, the most sought-after milestone of all.