Putting the Dodgers in perspective

Posted on May 29, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Just how good are the Dodgers?  Let’s assume they keep up their current pace, which is to win 115 games.  Keeping up an incredibly hot pace for the entire season is rare, but it does happen.   For instance, the 2001 Mariners were 37-12 through their first 49 games.  They ended the season 116-46.  They were on pace to win 122 at the 49 game mark, so they only slowed a little bit.  Their positive run differential was +300.  To put that in perspective, since 2001, only 2 teams have been better than 200: the 2002 LA Angels of Anaheim at 207 and the 2007 Red Sox at 210 (they both won the World Series, too).  Right now, the Dodgers are on pace to win 115 games and have a run differential of 294.   The next best pace right now is the St. Louis Cardinals at 96 wins for the season.

Right now, the 2009 LA Dodgers are only slightly behind the legendary 2001 Mariner team.  The 2001 Mariners did not win the World Series of course, so they are considered a disappointment.  But, winning 116 games is still an incredible achievement.  Another amazing stat is that the run differential for the Dodgers is 2x that of the next best team, the Detroit Tigers at a mortal +44.  Since 2002, the biggest difference between the 1st and 2nd ranked team was 33 for the 2008 Cubs over the Red Sox.  Even that was only about 18% higher.

The Dodgers will probably come back to earth a little bit, but these are still staggering numbers through 49 games.  It is exciting to realize that we could be witnessing true greatness, along the lines of the 1954 Indians or the 1998 Yankees.  They could also end up winning 95 and making it to the World Series.  They have been winning with a patchwork starting rotation and without their best hitter.  They need Chad Billingsley, who is currently 6-2 with a 2.82 ERA, to stay healthy and continue to be an ace and hope that Manny doesn’t cause a disruption if they are still rolling when he is scheduled to come back in July. 

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