Win-Loss and Hitting Stats

stats

HITTERS – OPS in Wins versus OPS in Losses

Baseball Reference has a neat little measurement within the “Splits” for each player.  The “Game Outcome for Team” split compares how well each player hit during Dodgers wins as opposed to during Dodgers losses.  The following shows the OPS (On-base percentage Plus Slugging percentage) during wins, during losses, and the differential.

Chris Taylor .971-.798=.173
Corey Seager 1.000-.659=.341
Justin Turner 1.072-.750=.322
Cody Bellinger 1.043-.716=.327
Logan Forsythe .791-.331=.460
Yasmani Grandal .801-.781=.020
Joc Pederson .874-.421=.453
Yasiel Puig .887-.558=.329
Austin Barnes .996-.719=.277
Kike Hernandez .800-.683=.117
Chase Utley .856-.431=.425
Adrian Gonzalez .737-.445=.292

What does all of this mean?  What is the cause and effect?  For some clues, let’s look at the career differential for some veterans who have played for other teams:

Justin Turner .926-.689=.237
Logan Forsythe .810-.622=.188
Yasmani Grandal .869-.656=.213
Chase Utley .951-.678=.273
Adrian Gonzalez .953-.723=.230

Now what does it all mean?  I don’t know, so I’m going to start making stuff up.  Please challenge me on my conclusions, then we’ll get to a better place together.

First of all, it makes sense that when offensive players are doing well, the team will win games, and vice versa.  So if the position player has a big role with the team, his differential will likely be high.  Utley and Gonzalez have filled these roles historically and their career differentials average about .250.   Seager, Turner, and Bellinger all fall into this make-up.

Chris Taylor’s differential is lower than the other top four guys in the lineup.  I think that’s because a lead-off hitter only contributes (mostly) by getting on base, not driving in runs.  So the lead-off hitter has less opportunity to influence the game outcome.

I think this team has won so much, due to the top four hitters in the lineup, but also because guys lower in the lineup have done well for the team.  This includes Puig, Pederson, and Forsythe.  Logan Forsythe has hit well against left-handers, although certainly not against right-handers.  Joc Pederson was doing great up through the end of July, but then fell off the horse more recently.  Speaking of horses, the Wild Horse has done well low in the lineup.

The anomaly in all of the above is Yasmani Grandal.  Why is his Won/Loss differential almost zero?  I don’t know.  Maybe because he is such a streaky hitter.  He’s either on or he’s off.

Dodgers Run

Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner

Did the Dodgers somehow become a different team after June 6, 2017?  Let’s look at some facts and some numbers.  Chris Taylor was called up from AAA on April 19th.  The Dodgers were 7-8.  The Dodgers then beat the Rockies 4-2 with Taylor hitting two doubles in three at-bats from the eighth batting position.

Cody Bellinger joined the team on April 25th, when the Dodgers were 9-11.  Dodger4life christened Bellinger as “Bombay”.  Later that night, the Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1, and Bombay had a quiet 1-3 night with a single and a walk, batting in the eighth position.

Justin Turner went on the disabled list from May 19th through June 8th.  The Dodgers were 24-18 after May 18th and 36-25 on June 8th.  So the Dodgers were able to go 12-7 without Justin Turner (somehow!).  When Big Red came back on June 9th, the Dodgers were just two wins into their current Red-Hot streak of 46-8.

Chris, Cody, and Justin have teamed up with Corey Seager to make up the best 1-2-3-4 hitters in any lineup that I can remember.  Just for ha-ha’s, here are their offensive numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS/OPS+ with homeruns) prior to tonight’s game:

Chris Taylor .308/.375/.547/.922/139 with 16 homers
Corey Seager .307/.399/.525/.925/141 with 19 homers
Justin Turner .348/.441/.561/1.002/162 with 15 homers
Cody Bombay Bellinger .263/.340/.609/.949/142 with 33 homers

Note that OPS+ compare’s the player’s OPS to the league’s OPS – an OPS+ of 100 is league-average.

Just for ha-ha’s again, here were the 1-2-3-4 hitters for the 1927 Bronx Bombers:

Earle Combs .356/.414/.511/.925/141 with 6 homers
Mark Koenig .285/.320/.382/.702/83 with 3 homers
Babe Ruth .356/.486/.772/1.258/225 with 60 homers
Lou Gehrig .373/.474/.765/1.240/220 with 47 homers
Yikes!  Those 3-4 hitters – who are those guys?

Now add Yasiel Puig as the best #8 hitter in the MLB.  Then add the Dodgers pitching which is leading the NL.  This is why the Dodgers have almost forgotten how to lose.

Let’s look at the Dodgers won-loss records by month for their possible best season ever:

April 14-12
May 19-9
June 21-7
July 20-3
August 7-2 (incomplete)
September ???

Here is the Dodgers’ won-loss record at home versus on the road during their Red-Hot streak:

Home 26-3
Road 20-5

You know, the Dodgers were just not satisfied with their 42-8 streak in 2013, winning 84% of 50 games.  So they had to go on their 2017 Red-Hot streak of 46-8, winning 85% of 54 games.  Oh yeah, it’s not over yet.  They are home for the next five games against the Padres (3 games) and the White Sox (2 games).  The Red-Hot streak continues…

Twins Game Two

Last night, the Dodgers returned to their ways of pulling a victory from the jaws of defeat.  This is not the team of Don Mattingly.  This is the team of Doc Roberts, the communicator, the motivator.  This is the team of Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger.  Those top four hitters (amongst others) never say die and keep on hitting late into the ballgame.  This is the team of Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, who consistently lay everything on the line to win a ballgame.

Kenta Maeda (R) will be starting against Jose Berrios (R) in the second game of the Dodgers series with the Twins.

Two Aces

 

It’s kinda nice to have two stoppers on the Dodgers.  I’ve got to believe this has been a key to the Dodgers red-hot success this summer.  When you’ve got two stoppers, odds are that one of them will be pitching the day after a loss.  Tonight, the stopper du jour is Alex Wood.

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I hope I’m not jinxing him here, but Wood is 11-0 and lately he seems just plain unbeatable.  Over his last five starts, he has given up just three runs in 33 innings, with never more than one run per start.  Over his last eleven starts, beginning on May 8th, he has given up just six runs over 62 innings.  His walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) is .877 for 2017, just slightly better than that other ace, Clayton Kershaw, whose 2017 WHIP is .890 and career WHIP is the second lowest all-time at .998.

Of those Dodgers who are having a “career year” and helping the Dodger become red-hot, Alex Wood is at the top of that list.  The others who come to mind immediately are Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner.

So, let tonight begin another winning streak for the Dodgers, who have only done the following in their red-hot summer of 2017:

  • Lead the second-place Rockies and Diamondbacks by 10 1/2 games.
  • Lead the Nationals by eight games for home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs.
  • Lead the Astros by 2 1/2 games for World Series home advantage.
  • 31-5 over the last 36 games.
  • Lost to an NL opponent just twice in the past 36 games.
  • 57-19 since Cody Bellinger joined the club.
  • 41-7 when both Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger start the game.
  • 30-5 since Justin Turner came off the disabled list.
  • Swept twelve series this year.
  • Won eleven of the past twelve games.
  • Won 44 consecutive games for games where they were leading at any time during the game.

Who Woulda Thunk It

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Early this season, in Spring Training and into April, who woulda thunk that the Dodgers would go on a red-hot winning streak through June and July?

  1. Who woulda thunk that Chris Taylor would become our everyday lead off hitter?
  2. Who woulda thunk Scott Kazmir would be on the disabled list for the whole season (and the team is no worse off due to that fact)?
  3. Who woulda thunk the Dodgers could hit against left-handed pitchers?
  4. Who woulda thunk the Dodgers would have seven hitters with double-digit homers on July 19th?
  5. Who woulda thunk we would lose starting left fielder Andrew Toles to injury for the rest of the season, and that would be a catalyst to the red-hot summer?  Toles was hitting .274 with five homers in 96 at-bats when he went down.  The Dodgers are 47-15 after the May 9th game in which Toles sustained his injury.
  6. Who woulda thunk we would lose 20 year old phenom Julio Urias to a season-ending injury, and go on a streak without him?  Urias was put on the disabled list with a sore left shoulder on June 14th.  The Dodgers are 25-4 since then.
  7. Who woulda thunk that wily veterans Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez would both go down with back injuries, and the collective team reaction is a “meh” shrug, along with winning 27 of 31 games since Adrian Gonzalez’s most recent active game with the Dodgers?
  8. Who woulda thunk Alex Wood woulda gone 11-0 to start the season?
  9. Who woulda thunk Kenley Jansen woulda struck out 51 batters before issuing his first base-on-balls of the season?
  10. Who woulda thunk that Rich Hill would be blister free and able to pitch seven innings in a game?
  11. Who woulda thunk that Yasiel Puig, banished to the minor leagues last August, would be second on the team with 18 home runs?
  12. Who woulda thunk that Joc Pederson, who hit only one dinger through May 20th, would now have nine dingers and sport an OPS of .822?
  13. Who woulda thunk Cody “Bombay” Bellinger would be this good?
  14. Who woulda thunk that Dodger4life would have christened Bellinger with the nickname “Bombay” before he hit any of his 26 MLB bombs?
  15. Who woulda thunk the Dodgers would be leading the Giants by 29.5 games in mid-July?

Well, it’s all true.  Today the Dodgers start a ten game home stand by hosting the Atlanta Braves in a four game series.  Brandon McCarthy will start things off against Mike Foltynewicz (R).   Signs of the Dodgers success:

  • Dodgers are now three games above the Astros for World Series home advantage.
  • Lead the second-place Rockies by eleven games.
  • 31-4 over the last 35 games.  The last time that happened in the MLB was in 1977 with the Kansas City Royals.
  • Lost to an NL opponent just once in the past 35 games.
  • 57-18 since Cody Bellinger joined the club.
  • 41-6 when both Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger start the game.
  • 30-4 since Justin Turner came off the disabled list.
  • Swept twelve series this year, including the last four straight.
  • Won eleven straight games going into tonight’s game.
  • Won 44 consecutive games for games where they were leading at any time during the game.

 

Trade Talks

tradetalks

The trade deadline is coming up in 2 1/2 weeks.  What are the Dodgers greatest needs?  Who is available?  Who should be “untouchable”?

The Dodgers had a great first half of the regular season.  They are seen as a shoo-in to make the playoffs.  But what moves should they make to ensure the greatest possible success throughout the playoffs and in the World Series?

First, who are the young players they could use as trade pieces?  My opinion is that Walker Buehler is the only “untouchable”.  He’s got a 99 mph fastball and a wicked curve ball.  He won’t help the Dodgers this season, but will likely come up sometime in 2018.  Alex Verdugo is a potential trade chip.  He has hit well in AAA, so he could come to the Dodgers and replace Joc Pederson or Yasiel Puig.  But Verdugo has not shown the power nor speed that would make him a regular in the Dodgers lineup.  Willie Calhoun has the power and the hitting, but doesn’t have the glove to stick at second base.  He will be a left-fielder or designated hitter for someone.

Now let’s get into the Dodgers’ needs for the playoffs.  We’ll split this up by starting pitching, relief pitching, and position players.

The Dodgers are all set for the playoffs with their starting pitchers, starting with Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood.  What’s that?  You can’t have a two man rotation in the playoffs?  Oh, okay.  The next two that could be in a four man rotation are Rich Hill and Brandon McCarthy.  The problem with Rich Hill is that he had an awful start to 2017 and only recently has shown he can pitch well – just in his last two to three starts.  The problem with McCarthy is that he is subject to the yips, meaning that sometimes he just pitches about 10 feet wide of home plate.

Who could be added as a starting pitcher through a trade?  Looking at potential sellers at the trade deadline has led the rumor mill to Sonny Gray of the A’s and Justin Verlander of the Tigers.  I would trade for Sonny Gray, who could help us this year and many years beyond.

Looking at the current bullpen, it is scary to think that Luis Avilan is our best left-handed reliever.  We cannot go into the playoffs without an effective left-handed reliever.  We may or may not like to also add another effective right-handed reliever.  Left-handed relievers who are “available” include Sean Doolittle of the A’s, Justin Wilson of the Tigers, and Zach Britton of the Orioles.

As far as position players go, the weakest area looks to be the outfield.  Chris Taylor is doing a good job filling in at left field.  But Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig are not offensive powerhouses.  It would be great to add a high-impact bat in the outfield.  That person could be JD Martinez of the Tigers.  The other possibility would be to trade for a first baseman, and move Cody Bellinger back to the outfield.

What are your thoughts regarding potential trades between now and July 31st?