Time for a Dodgers week one recap. Few clubs had more of an up-and-down week than the Dodgers in week 1 of Major League Baseball. Despite a +3 run differential, they still ended the week going 2-5. They started off by losing twice one to nothing on Joe Panik home runs. The Dodgers followed the first two games up by having resounding wins and games two and three of the series against the Giants. They then traveled to Arizona only to be swept in three games. Even as late as the ninth inning of the first game it looked like the Dodgers were going to continue to have a solid first week. But a three-run game-tying home run against Kenley Jansen dashed all those hopes. We are here to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- Record: 2-5
- Run Differential: +3
- Offense: .202/.263/.286, 3 HR, 53 wRC+, -0.5 fWAR (2nd worst offense)
- Pitching: 2.61 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 1.16 WHIP10.04 K/9, 3.13 BB/9, 1.0 fWAR
Above everything else, our starting pitching has been amazing so far this year. Only the Red Sox starters have a better ERA than the Dodgers. Our ERA of 1.99 is absolutely phenomenal. Hyun-Jin Ryu is the only starter who had struggles in his first start. Either way, the way our starters have begun the year is a good indication that our starting pitching will once again be a strength.
Despite our relievers lackluster 3.51 era our bullpen has been quite amazing so far. Ironically the biggest issue for the bullpen has been our usually reliable stopper Kenley Jansen. If you would eliminate Jansen’s performance the Dodgers’ bullpen ERA dropped to 2.28. And that still includes the three runs Scott Alexander gave up the other day.
Additionally, despite the miscues in the first couple games, the Dodgers’ defense has been one of the best so far. They rank in the top 10 in most advanced stats and rank second in defensive runs saved. It is no surprise to see their defense rated highly. And this should continue throughout the season.
Lastly, the one bright spot in our lineup has been Yasmani Grandal. Towards the end of Spring Training Grandal caught fire, and he has continued this into the season. He has a triple slash of .350/.435/.550 with a home run and a 0.3 fWAR. Not too shabby to start out the year.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 3, 2018
The Bad and Ugly
Honestly, there hasn’t been much difference between the bad and the ugly this year. They have been one and the same this year. Outside of Grandal, our offense has been anemic, and Kenley Jansen has been significantly disappointing. Just by looking at our quick hits above you can see how absolutely absent our offense has been. Without our starting rotation and the bullpen outside of Janson doing such a fine job, we could possibly be looking at starting the season 1-6 or 0-7. Ironically the two games we won we scored a total of 15 runs which has helped prop up our run differential and keep it at +3.
Like spring training it is very premature to make any determination about the rest of the season based off of the first-week performance. Especially when one area for a team either significantly overperforms or underperforms. This is why we can extrapolate that are starting rotation will be solid because this was expected. But by the same token, it is why we know the offense will not continue to be this poor. Hopefully this next week the Dodgers lineup can start hitting and our record can start turning around.
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