Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dodgers Need To Get It Going


The Los Angeles Dodgers may be in trouble in the crowded NL West. If the Dodgers are to return to the NLCS for a third year in a row they will need to make a good run in the second half.

And it all starts with pitching. The Dodgers were simply out-pitched by their division rivals in the first half of the season.

Here's where the Dodgers pitching stacks up against all the NL clubs in the first half-- I base it on a simple formula I came up with where I awarded points for positive stats and subtracted points for negative stats. And yes, I did come up with it, and quite frankly, it works. I call it, Total Pitching-- like in the NFL [Total Defense and Total Offense].

National League:

  1. San Diego Padres - 70.73
  2. Colorado Rockies - 68.18
  3. Atlanta Braves - 67.97
  4. St. Louis Cardinals - 65.63
  5. Chicago Cubs - 60.90
  6. Florida Marlins - 59.26
  7. San Francisco Giants - 58.95
  8. Los Angeles Dodgers - 56.39
  9. Houston Astros - 55.17
  10. Cincinnati Reds - 52.52
  11. New York Mets - 50.00
  12. Washington Nationals - 50.00
  13. Philadelphia Phillies - 49.22
  14. Milwaukee Brewers - 46.71
  15. Pittsburgh Pirates - 40.79
  16. Arizona Diamondbacks - 35.10

And yes folks, there is a method to my madness. According to my "awards points", the Dodgers ended the first half, 4th (in their division) in Total Pitching. But LA isn't the only team that needs to pitch better--

Other teams in trouble are the Phillies, Mets and Reds. The Reds don't seem to have the pitching to out-duel the Cardinals in the NL Central. The Phillies and Mets are way behind the division-leading Braves and are even behind the Marlins. But no matter what, I'll always remain a "somewhat" loyal Mets fan. Anyway--

The Cubs, to my surprise, pitched very well in the first half-- much better than their record indicates. So it wouldn't surprise me if the Cubs (and the Marlins) make a run at a winning record and salvage their seasons. They certainly have the pitching to do so.

And if pitching wins pennants, then things are looking mighty good for the San Diego Padres. And I hope things workout for them out there-- I mean, as a life long National League fan, I'm still upset that they lost the '84 World Series to the Tigers after winning the pennant from the Cubs in such dramatic fashion. But I guess that's a story for another day--

Anyway, here's how the American League stacked up in the first half.

American League:

  1. Tampa Bay Rays - 67.48
  2. Oakland A's - 63.85
  3. New York Yankess - 63.20
  4. Chicago White Sox - 61.07
  5. Texas Rangers - 60.90
  6. Minnesota Twins - 58.59
  7. Boston Red Sox - 56.20
  8. Los Angeles Angels - 55.63
  9. Toronto Blue Jays - 53.73
  10. Detroit Tigers - 52.52
  11. Cleveland Indians - 45.70
  12. Baltimore Orioles - 44.37
  13. Seattle Mariners - 43.51
  14. Kansas City Royals - 42.66

So what does it tell me?

  • The Oakland A's are good. It wouldn't surprise me if they make a decent run.
  • The Red Sox are in trouble in the East.
  • The Detroit Tigers may just fade into oblivion.
  • The White Sox and Twins are the elites of the AL Central.
  • The Texas Rangers have enough weapons to duke it out.

Anyway, all of the above is based on the first half. As we know anything is possible the rest of the way (injuries, trades, etc.). And at the end of the day it wasn't too difficult to do-- all I did was add the positives and subtract the negatives-- simple elementary mathematics.

I guess it was something fun to do on a boring Sunday morning....LOL.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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