Despite a run of excellent pitching, the Los Angeles Dodgers have certain hitters that have owned them over the last decade.
There is an old saying baseball that pitching wins championships, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been fortunate to feature some of the game’s best pitching since 2010. As such, they have done their best to prove the adage.
From Clayton Kershaw to Hyun-Jin Ryu, from Zack Greinke to Walker Buehler, the Dodgers have ridden their collection of arms to unprecedented success in the team’s history. That includes two World Series appearances and seven-consecutive division titles, making the team perhaps the most successful in baseball despite having not won a World Series.
Since 2010, the Dodgers ranks 1st in cumulative pitching fWAR (201.8), team ERA (3.49), FIP (3.59), and K/9 ratio (8.7), while also placing 2nd in Wins (921), 3rd in BABIP (.286), and 5th in hard-hit rate (29.6%). Because of this, Dodgers pitchers have the highest win probability added during that span, checking in at 71.86 and joining the Yankees as the only other team with a WPA over 62.
However, it hasn’t always been sunshine and daisies for the Dodgers. There are just some hitters that the team has consistently struggled with over that run. Some sticks you just can’t get out. Every team has a few batters that are a nuisance and the Dodgers are no different.
Last week we took a look at pitchers that have owned the Dodgers over the last decade, so we thought we would do a similar study on hitters as well. Like last time, I opted to try and keep things as fair as possible. In order to open the net outside of just the divisional rivals, I set the minimum number of plate appearances to 200. This allowed us to get rid of the small sample sizes, but also keep a wide enough range so that those who played the Dodgers 20-plus times yearly didn’t get a clear advantage.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the hitters that have dominated the Dodgers over the last 10 years.
Honorable Mention – Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
The man known as “CarGo” to the Rockies faithful has long been a thorn in the side of Dodgers’ pitching. Debuting with the Oakland Athletics in 2008, Gonzalez made his way to Denver via a trade with the A’s as part of the package that brought Matt Holliday to Oakland.
In his 10 years with the Rockies, CarGo hit .290/.349/.516 with 227 home runs, 749 RBI, and had an OPS+ of 112. While that is a solid decade of production, he really dialed it in against Los Angeles. Since 2010, Gonzalez has 125 games and 514 plate appearances against the Dodgers, accumulating a batting line of .292/.364/.521. That included a wRC+ of 120 (7th), a .229 ISO (5th), a wOBA of .371 (7th), 24 home runs (3rd), and 81 RBI (3rd).
Even adjusted for Coors Field, those are incredible numbers for essentially a full season’s worth of games. The Dodgers may get an opportunity to see if he can add to those numbers, with Gonzalez signing with Seattle during the offseason and now lining up with Los Angeles under the proposed scheduling for the 2020 season.