With the All-Star break upon us, I thought it best to take a look at the overall numbers posted in the first half of the Dodgers season. They paint a picture of a productive, and baseball-leading 60 win team.
- W/L: 60-32 (.652) (tops in MLB)
- Runs Scored/Runs Allowed: 480 / 351
- Run Differential: +129 (tops in MLB)
- Home Record: 37-12 (tops in MLB)
- Away Record: 23-20
While ending the first half on a 3 game losing streak is less than ideal, the Dodgers more than impressed by leading baseball in wins — being the first team to both the 50 and 60 win plateau — and outpacing the next best team in run differential by 13 runs.
#Dodgers fall 5-3 and drop the final 3 games of the 1st half. Disappointing, but at 60-32 they have the best record in baseball & are on pace for 105+ wins.
Been a heck of a 1st half. Enjoy the All-Star break, everybody. (Also, watch Ryu dominate on Tuesday, please)
— Rick Krajewski (@Rick_K21) July 7, 2019
Next, let’s take a look at individual batting stats leaders.
- AVG: Bellinger, .336
- OBP: Bellinger, .432
- SLG: Bellinger, .692
- OPS: Bellinger, 1.124
- HR: Bellinger, 30
- 2B: Seager, 21
- 3B: Taylor/Pederson, 3
- RBI: Bellinger, 71
- R: Bellinger, 70
- BB: Bellinger, 54
- BB%: Bellinger, 14.5%
- K%: Verdugo, 9.7% (tops in NL)
- bWAR: Bellinger, 6.7 (tops in MLB)
- fWAR: Bellinger, 5.8
- wRC+: Bellinger, 187 (tops in MLB)
As just about anyone could have imagined, Cody Bellinger paced the way in most offensive categories for the best team in baseball. While he’s come back down to earth since a record-setting April, he remains one of the top players in the game.
Finally, we dive into the pitching staff statistical leaders.
- W: Ryu, 10 (t-1 in NL)
- ERA: Ryu, 1.73 (tops in MLB)
- FIP: Buehler, 2.84
- G: Baez, 41
- GS: Ryu/Buehler/Maeda, 17
- IP: Ryu, 109.0
- SV: Jansen, 23 (t-2 in NL)
- K: Buehler, 113
- BB: Maeda (high) 31
- K/BB%: Ryu, 9.9
- fWAR: Ryu, 3.7
- bWAR: Ryu/Buehler, 3.1 (tie)
Numbers Into Context
Pretty easy to see that Cody Bellinger and Hyun-Jin Ryu lead the charge for offense and defense, respectively. Those should come as a surprise to no one. Some of the stats did yield some surprises, though. In almost 20 games less than the rest of his teammates, Corey Seager lead the team in doubles. Despite a recent mini-slump, Justin Turner came in 2nd in OBP at an elite .377 mark, and Max Muncy came just shy of a .900 ops, posting an .892 mark. Not to be overlooked, if David Freese had enough plate appearances to qualify, he’d also be just behind Bellinger on AVG/OBP/SLG.
As for pitching, Walker Buehler’s numbers have some things to look closer at. He leads the pitching staff in FIP. Without getting too convoluted in the sabermetric details, FIP basically levels the playing field of league bias, and gives a more accurate picture of how well a pitcher has been throwing. It focuses on the events the pitcher has the most control over, strikeouts, HBP, unintentional walks, and home runs. It means Walker Buehler has been even better than the basic numbers tell us, and that’s pretty impressive.
The Dodgers have been more well-rounded than they were in 2018. I wrote an article at the end of last year where I said that the Dodgers were going to be better than the talking heads and fans were giving them credit for. There are times where prescience isn’t a wild guess, it’s just seeing the numbers for what they are. The Dodgers were good last year, and they’re even better this year.