The Padres And Giants Were Cute Stories, But Analytics Say Dodgers Will Coast To NL West Crown

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mookie betts

All the numbers point to a great Dodgers summer.

At the midway point of the baseball season, Los Angeles leads the NL West by 5.5 games over the San Diego Padres. They are 51-29, have the best record in the National League and have the best road record as well.

Pitcher Tony Gonsolin is 10-0 with an ERA of 1.54. That ERA leads the Majors, and he’s one of only three pitchers currently with 10 wins, but the only one undefeated.

FanGraphs lists the Dodgers as having a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs, 84.9 percent to win the division, 78.7 percent to clinch a first-round bye (remember, we have a new playoff format this year) and 15.4 percent to win the World Series, the highest for any team.

Is there a bad number at all in the Dodger sky? Maybe.

The Dodgers have also put six players on the injured list, including Chris Taylor who just broke a bone in his left foot.

“Very disappointing, obviously, to lose a player like CT,” said Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts to Tuesday night. “But hopefully, it’s not too long-term. Once we get the swelling out, it’s going to be more per his tolerance. So hopefully it’s not more than a couple of weeks.”

Dodgers Depth Pays Off

Taylor, who was an All-Star last year, is going on the injured list just as superstar Mookie Betts is coming back to the Dodgers after fracturing a rib.

Betts slugged a homer on Tuesday. Even though he missed three weeks with that broken rib, Betts is still leading the team with 18 homers. Gavin Lux and Trayce Thompson are expected to pick up the slack for Taylor while he’s on the IL.

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The Dodgers lineup continues to hum along no matter who is out.

Even though his heart may be in Atlanta, Freddie Freeman’s bat is in Los Angeles and he’s batting .302 with a team high 25 doubles.

Shortstop Trea Turner leads the team and is 16th in the majors batting .307.

I’m not a non-traditional stat person (I want guys to get hits and score runs) but the Dodgers lead the Majors in OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging). They are second in runs scored with 403 and second in team walks.

And now that lineup is getting back its best hitter.

Arms Cause Harm

It’s a baseball tradition. The Dodgers always have pitching.

Walker Buehler and Andrew Heaney have each spent some time on the IL, but has anyone really noticed? Gonsolin has been an ace. Tyler Anderson is 9-1 even though his ERA is a 3.09. The Dodgers team ERA is 2.94, second best in the majors, just a tick behind the Yankees.

Closer Craig Kimbrel has been, well, steady may not be the perfect word. He has 14 saves, but has struggled in a few.

If the Dodgers want to make any moves at the trade deadline, it would be for more bullpen help. But that’s what every contender wants this time of year.

Playoff Format, Odds, Possibilities

Major League Baseball has expanded the playoffs for 2022 with each of the three division winners getting in and three wild card teams. It’s too many, and cheapens the regular season, but baseball is gonna baseball.

The two division winners with the best records get byes (as of today that would be Dodgers and Mets), while the other four teams (No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5) meet in a three-game series. A chance to rest before starting the playoffs would be welcome.

The Dodgers still are among the big favorites to win it all in October. BetMGM has them second on the board to win the World Series (+450) and are the favorites to win the National League (+200). Caesars has things listed almost the same, with the Dodgers +450 for the World Series and +220 to win the NL. Looking for a potential bet? Gonsolin is +1000 to win the Cy Young on both sportsbooks.

He is 10-0 for crying out loud.

The Dodgers won’t even have to travel for the All-Star break. Dodger Stadium will host the contest July 19.

It doesn’t look like we are getting another chapter of the Giants/Dodgers rivalry this summer. San Francisco is treading water near .500 and 10 games back. San Diego has been a team supposedly going to break through, but star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is still out with a broken wrist.

The best thing for the Padres is they finally won a game at Chavez Ravine for the first time in 434 days. The Dodgers clearly have their number.

All the other numbers point to blue skies ahead for Los Angeles.