Dodgers Giants Series

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Line Ups and Batting Averages

Here are the line ups from this weekend against the Cubbies.  One was against a left handed starting pitcher and one against a right handed starting pitcher.  The batting averages shown below are the 2015 batting average splits.  For example, in the “vs. Righty” lineup, we show Adrian Gonzalez’ 2015 batting average of .281 against righties.  Then we show his 2015 batting average of .293 against lefties in the “vs. Lefty” lineup.  To complete the picture, we add the players on the bench.

 

Vs. Righty

.198 Rollins ss

.221 Utley 2b

.281 Gonzalez 1b

.306 Ethier rf

.242 Crawford lf

.255 Grandal c

.213 Pederson cf

.239 Hernandez 3b

Bench:

.319 Turner

.232 Van Slyke

.213 Ellis

.000 Peraza (4 at bats)

.232 Guerrero

 

Vs. Lefty

.295 Rollins ss

.417 Hernandez cf

.293 Gonzalez 1b

.225 Turner 3b

.269 Van Slyke rf

.294 Crawford lf

.267 Ellis c

.500 Peraza 2b

Bench:

.222 Ethier

.186 Utley

.326 Grandal

.202 Pederson

.227 Guerrero

Cubs at Dodgers

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State of the Team

As the Dodgers enter into a crucial three game series with the Cubs, let us take a look at the state of the Dodgers.  The pennant race is on.  The Dodgers are just two and a half games above the Giants.  If the Dodgers fall behind the Giants, a wild card spot will be difficult to come by, as the Dodgers are behind the Cubs by three games.  While the Cubs still have to play six games each against the Cards and the Pirates, they also have six games each against the Reds and the Brewers.

The Dodgers have played well against weaker teams, except in the recent series against the Oakland A’s.  The boys in blue swept the Reds in each of their recent two series against the team from Cincinnati.  However, Houston, historically not a good team, but leaders in their division this year, swept the Dodgers.

The team’s first strength lies in its Ace starting pitchers, Ace #1 Clayton Kershaw and Ace #1A Zack Greinke.  The team’s second strength is the number of hitters who can supply power.  Eight of the hitters on the current team have ten or more home runs (Gonzalez 24, Pederson 23, Grandal 15, Turner 15, Rollins 13, Ethier 12, Puig 11, and Guerrero 11).  Howie Kendrick has nine.  Kike Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke, and AJ Ellis also have some punch.

However, the team has considerable weaknesses as it goes into the final push for the pennant race.  The hitting can be sporadic at times, as they have hit only .219 over the past ten games.  Hitting with the bases loaded has been poor this year, though not quite as bad as last year (2014 OPS was .460, while the 2015 OPS has been .604).  Injuries to position players Kendrick, Turner, and Puig are troublesome.  Turner has not yet got the timing on his hitting back to where it was prior to his MRSA issue.

The bullpen has been a sore spot, especially over the past two months.  Let’s take a look at the bullpen’s WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) and ERA by month for 2015:

April 1.109 and 2.25

May 1.173 and 2.82

June 1.255 and 4.20

July 1.621 and 6.27

Aug 1.390 and 5.34

Whatever was broken in the bullpen in July (and June) has not been fixed in August.  This dones not bode well for September, let alone October.

Dodgers at Reds Finale

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As the Dodgers play their last game against the Reds this year, let’s look ahead to the remaining schedule of eleven series:

  1.  Cubs @Dodgers, while Cards@Giants.  Even
  2. Giants@Dodgers, three games – this will be hugely important, and the Dodgers have lined up their top starting pitchers to go at the Giants.
  3. Dodgers@Padres(4), while Giants@Rockies(4) – Giants have an edge and could pick up a game. (1.5)
  4. Dodgers @Angels, while Giants@D-Backs – Giants have an edge because Angels are still in the wild card race.
  5. Dodgers @D-Backs, while Padres@Giants – Giants have a slight edge (home field)
  6. Rockies@Dodgers, Reds@Giants – Even
  7. Pirates@Dodgers, D-Backs@Giants – Giants could pick up a game (0.5)
  8. D-Backs@Dodgers(4), Giants@Padres – half-game difference made up?
  9. Dodgers@Rockies, Giants@A’s – Even
  10. Dodgers@Giants(4) – This series will determine whether Dodgers get in the playoffs
  11. Padres@Dodgers, Giants@Rockies – Giants have an edge

That last series in San Francisco could decide everything.