Author Topic: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good  (Read 576 times)

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Offline mimontero88

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The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Topic Start: August 07, 2017, 04:44:03 PM »
Okay, I know the title is obvious.  But before you troll me, I will admit that it should really say "The Dodgers are Even Better than You Think They Are."  However, I find that title presumptuous.  I don't know how good any of you think the Dodgers are.  I just know how good I thought they were.  And I was wrong.  They're better. 

Today, I had a little free time and decided to find the point of overperformance for the Dodgers.  The logic goes that any team having a run this historic has to have a solid mix of talent and luck.  It seems logical that talent alone cannot produce results like this because baseball just isn't that easy - unless you're the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers.

The first thing I looked for was a weak strength of schedule (admittedly a stretch given their division).  I decided to approach strength of schedule by isolating their games against playoff teams (as of today) and looking at their performance in those games.  The Dodgers have played 34 such games.  They are 22-12 in those games.  The Dodgers have won one less game against playoff teams than the Nats have PLAYED.  Strength of schedule is not the chink in the Dodger armor.

Okay, well maybe they've just killed it in one-run games, right?  I mean, sure they're only overperforming their Pythagorean record by 2 games but maybe that's the result of blowouts against bad teams, right?  Right?  Nope.  The Dodgers are 18-10 in one-run games.  That's a little lucky but it's a significantly worse winning percentage than their overall winning percentage.  Even if you change that to 14-14, you get the Dodgers down to a 75-36 record, still good for the best record in baseball with four games to spare.

Okay, so what if they just have gotten really lucky with the injury bug?  Maybe they've just stayed shockingly healthy all year.  Except the Dodgers actually lead all of Major League Baseball in cumulative days spent on the DL by players (1,313) and number of players (24).  They lost Justin Turner, arguably their best hitter, for 22 days.  Joc Pederson spent 33 days on the DL.  Rich Hill and Hyun-jin Ryu also spent more than a month each.  You actually have the beginnings of a respectable pitching staff just using pitchers currently on the Dodgers' DL (Kershaw, Kazmir, McCarthy).

Here's the thing.  I've spent a lot of time over the years on this forum looking for points of overperformance or underperformance when it seems like the public is largely overrating or underrating a team/player.  Almost always, you can find a luck factor that explains a team's or player's overperformance or underperformance compared to expectations.  Last year, Anthony Rendon had a rough April and I posted that the peripherals showed he would be fine.  He ended up being fine.  It is pretty rare that a major deviation from expected performance cannot be explained away by luck (or injury in the case of individual players).  It actually gives those of us who are curious about such things an easy place to start looking for luck in the game.  But this Dodgers team can't be explained away by luck.  If anything, they've been unlucky.  And that should terrify anyone who has to stare them down come October.

Offline mitlen

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #1: August 07, 2017, 04:45:48 PM »
I mentioned in another thread how impressed I am with this Dodgers' edition.    Playin' over .700 through August 7 is an amazing feat.   I hope to see a couple of the games in the upcoming series (September) with the Nats.

Offline varoadking

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #2: August 07, 2017, 04:46:24 PM »

Doesn't matter...the playoffs are a crapshoot...  ;)

Offline mimontero88

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #3: August 07, 2017, 05:50:17 PM »
Doesn't matter...the playoffs are a crapshoot...  ;)
The playoffs are a crapshoot because playoff teams are generally pretty close to evenly matched.  This Dodgers team throws off that balance a bit by being a freaking juggernaut.  Does that mean the Nats can't beat them?  Of course not, but it does factor in to how the dice are loaded so to speak.

Offline aspenbubba

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #4: August 07, 2017, 05:59:48 PM »
Has any team been 47 games over .500 on August 7th? What is the MLB record at the end of the season?

Offline mimontero88

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #5: August 07, 2017, 06:02:47 PM »
Has any team been 47 games over .500 on August 7th? What is the MLB record at the end of the season?
By winning percentage the 1906 Chicago Cubs were the best at 116-36.  The 2001 Mariners also won 116 games but in a longer season so they went 116-46.  This Dodgers team is currently on pace to win 115 games.

Offline HalfSmokes

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #6: August 07, 2017, 06:13:33 PM »
By winning percentage the 1906 Chicago Cubs were the best at 116-36.  The 2001 Mariners also won 116 games but in a longer season so they went 116-46.  This Dodgers team is currently on pace to win 115 games.

Anyone remember how that mariners team decimated the competition in the playoffs?

Offline mimontero88

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #7: August 07, 2017, 06:15:47 PM »
Anyone remember how that mariners team decimated the competition in the playoffs?
It's a fair point.  Since the Wild Card was introduced, 21 teams have won 100 or more games.  Of those teams, only 7 made it to the World Series.

Offline mitlen

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #8: August 07, 2017, 06:17:12 PM »
Stay focused.   It's about the Dodgers in 2017.     Oh look, Halley's Comet.

Offline GuyFromCO

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #9: August 07, 2017, 11:24:25 PM »
Stan really did assemble a great squad :stir:

Ha. Hasn't been fun watching them 12 times so far. Lots of respect for their talent, but freak 'em. Gonna :whip: them in the playoffs!

Offline bluestreak

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #10: August 08, 2017, 12:57:12 AM »
I will say the injury thing is misleading with the Dodgers. They have been fairly liberal with putting pitchers on the DL because their staff is deep and they have been taking advantage of the new 10 day DL. It’s a strategy they have implemented and it works well for them. But I think the amount they have actually been injured is overstated. Position players are a different story though.

That being said, I think this team is crazy good.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #11: August 08, 2017, 08:23:43 AM »
They also benefited from A-Gon's injury forcing them / giving them a chance to bring up Bellinger early.  It's a little like all the outfield injuries in 2012 forcing Bryce to be called up early rather than jerking around with Super 2 status.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #12: August 08, 2017, 08:54:04 AM »

Most of the Dodgers hitters are going great guns. They are good but not as good as they have been hitting wise. Picking up Darvish was a great move since that was their weakness. Bullpen is great. I don't see them as unbeatable in the playoffs. However if Kershaw and Darvish both throw great in the playoffs they would be very very hard to beat.

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #13: August 08, 2017, 10:43:48 AM »
By winning percentage the 1906 Chicago Cubs were the best at 116-36.  The 2001 Mariners also won 116 games but in a longer season so they went 116-46.  This Dodgers team is currently on pace to win 115 games.

It should be noted that neither the 1906 Chicago Cubs nor the 2001 Seattle Mariners won the World Series.

Offline spidernat

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #14: August 08, 2017, 11:18:36 AM »
 :hysterical:



Offline sph274

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #15: August 08, 2017, 06:04:55 PM »
are the dodgers immune to the type of hatred that follows the yanks? they are the west coast/NL version of them, after all.

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #16: August 08, 2017, 07:56:37 PM »
Dodgers have the Yankees payroll but nowhere near the recent playoff dominance. If anything they are the Capitals of the west coast this decade.

Offline Mathguy

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #17: August 10, 2017, 06:34:55 AM »
How are the LA opponent's pitchers ?

Most of the Dodgers hitters are going great guns. They are good but not as good as they have been hitting wise. Picking up Darvish was a great move since that was their weakness. Bullpen is great. I don't see them as unbeatable in the playoffs. However if Kershaw and Darvish both throw great in the playoffs they would be very very hard to beat.

Offline RobDibblesGhost

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #18: August 11, 2017, 04:42:04 PM »
Nats are the only team that has a winning record against the Dodgers this season :stir:

Offline mimontero88

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Re: The Dodgers Are Really Freaking Good
« Reply #19: August 12, 2017, 09:35:45 AM »
Nats are the only team that has a winning record against the Dodgers this season :stir:
They took the last game of that series from us and that was the beginning of the absurd tear they're on.  They got Justin Turner back after that game and I find it hard to believe that that timing can be purely chalked up to coincidence.  Turner is probably their best hitter despite the year Bellinger is having.