Dodgers Are Slumping (Offensively) Against Good Teams
This dude has to get better in order for the Dodgers to get better. (hot. analysis.)
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers haven’t beaten anybody yet. 24 of their 37 wins have come against the bottom feeders of the NL West, and they’ve looked just slow overall against anybody with a good record. 0-3 vs the Texas Rangers, 2-5 against the Saint Louis Cardinals, and 2-7 against the San Francisco Giants.
That is really really really putrid and given that these are the contending teams that the Dodgers have faced so far, and the fact that really good teams have given the Dodgers problems before, it’s absolutely fair to worry about their record in these games.
Now, is it fair to worry to the extent that we currently are fretting about this slump? I’m gonna go ahead and say no, for a couple of reasons.
It’s honestly amazing that they’ve been able to stay in first place with an offense hitting .247/.313/.390 in the past 30 days, this line has been perpetuated by a few hitters, most notably Adrian Gonzalez (.223/.310/.321), Howie Kendrick (.243/.289/.327), Jimmy Rollins (.200/.238/.300) it’s important to note that his wRC+ overall is a 68, his wRC+ within these past 30 days is an even more hideous 51 and Seager’s league adjusted line at AAA is 15% above average as a 21 year old. Just saying.
But the offense is basically the reason the team has struggled so immensely, the Dodgers are getting very good contributions from every single starting pitcher they’re throwing out there, and relative to expectations, their bullpen has been a pleasant surprise. While you could make the argument that having a Papelbon, or a Chapman would make everything smoother, the things that can help this offense are Adrian Gonzalez hitting like he normally does, Howie Kendrick hitting like he normally does, Olivera displacing Alberto Callaspo on the roster, and a Seager callup.
But most of those things were going to happen anyways regression to the mean is a thing and AGon/Howie aren’t suddenly sub .700 OPS type hitters, and the gist of this article is really seen through the first sentence a couple paragraphs up, they’re STILL in first place. Two of their most important players are underperforming to an awful extent, they have OPS’s of .512 against the Cardinals, .667 against the Giants, and .689 against the Rangers.
But this only solves the mystery as to what is happening when they play good teams not exactly why or how. It’s entirely possible that the Cardinals are just that good at pitching and having a bunch of slumping hitters going up against that pitching staff is going to end poorly way more often than not but the other two teams don’t make any sense, the Rangers are 28th in team FIP (only better than the Phillies and Rockies) and the Giants are 15th.
And besides, it’s June 19th for chrissakes, the 2014 Giants were 2-5 in the regular season against the Nationals before dominating them in the NLDS, the 2013 Cardinals didn’t have a winning record against a team they faced in that postseason, but blew through them when October came, the 2012 Giants didn’t have a winning record against the teams they faced in the playoffs either. Granted, their records against those respective teams were better than what the Dodgers have posted so far, but the mere fact that we’re judging the team on June 18th (with more than a month away from the trade deadline) is definitely a problem.
There are trades to be made, and if this front office has shown anything over the offseason, they’ll improve the roster as creatively as possible. They’re most certainly going to get a starter, and maybe they do that by moving big league pieces along with a Jose De Leon and/or Grant Holmes to get Cole Hamels, maybe the Nationals are okay with their pitching situation and they trade Zimmermann for a bat, maybe Andre Ethier gets moved for Tanner Roark, maybe Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman are Dodgers at the expense of Holmes/De Leon/Kiké, maybe Corey Seager gets called up along with the more probably Hector Olivera, Carl Crawford is suddenly swinging the bat, and Pedro Baez is on his way back.
You see where this is going with the overt rosterbating, yes?
The team you see now is not at all the team you’re going to see in a couple of weeks, let alone August 1st, there is potential turnover at the 3rd SP spot, numerous bullpen slots, the entire left side of the infield, and left field (depending on Andre Ethier). Guessing the playoff roster at this point is damn near impossible, so why try? The team is in first place and doing exactly what it needs to do at this point, if the team does anything close to what they did last season at the deadline and refuses to acknowledge it, then fret, but the regressions are coming, and so are the reinforcements.