JABO: The Superficially Underachieving Dodger Offense

In a sense, there isn’t that much wrong with the Dodgers. They won on Thursday — albeit barely — and they stand in first place in their division. You could excuse them if they’ve gotten used to that. The last time the Dodgers weren’t in first place was one night in the last week of May. Prior to that, you’re looking at the second week of the season. All year long, they’ve been positioned well, and they have two unbelievable starting pitchers, and they’re heavily favored to advance to the first round of the playoffs. The Dodgers aren’t struggling. Most of the teams in baseball would be ecstatic to be where they are.

But, of course, not every team is equal, and given the Dodgers’ resources, it feels like they should be doing better. It feels like they should be almost unstoppable, unless they were to be brought down by injuries, like the Nationals. One could reasonably assert that the Dodgers should be running away with things, and that it’s worrisome they’re still fending off the Giants. The Dodgers might not make the NLDS. It’s unlikely, but very possible. Things just feel underwhelming. Observers feel it. The players themselves feel it.

Look over the numbers, and there’s one glaring curiosity. What might be one explanation for the Dodgers’ performance? You might be familiar with wOBA, which is like a better version of OPS. Right now, the Dodgers offense ranks third in wOBA in all of baseball. They lead the National League. What could be better than pairing a good offense with two proven aces? And yet, the Dodgers rank 18th in baseball in runs scored. By one measure, they’re tremendous. By another, they’re average. This is an unusual discrepancy.

Read the rest at Just A Bit Outside.





Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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BigDaddyCool
7 years ago

Thank you Jeff for getting into some of the nuance of this, rather than just saying the Dodgers are unlucky and are actually by far the best team in baseball. Baserunning matters, and these things add up. Also, if you have a low GB rate, you can’t say it’s all bad luck that you don’t reach base via error.

DatDudeJD
7 years ago
Reply to  BigDaddyCool

No doubt. This is why Cameron is not a good analyst. Just blatantly declared the Dodgers are far and away the best team in baseball in his last chat. Come on Dave!

bill
7 years ago
Reply to  DatDudeJD

I don’t know if I would say they are the best team in baseball, but I think they are the most likely WS winner. This years Kershaw and Greinke should be devastating in the playoffs. Of course, last years Kershaw and Greinke were pretty good too, but I digress.

BigDaddyCool
7 years ago
Reply to  bill

Dirty Birds have beat up on them, but they we’re probably stealing signs. I think one of the LA Times reporters wrote about this.

I agree, I fully expect the Dodgers to win the WS, only thing to really challenge them will be the Cubs.

Bipmember
7 years ago
Reply to  bill

I fully expect the Dodgers to win the WS

lol

Bipmember
7 years ago
Reply to  BigDaddyCool

While baserunning is not accounted for in wOBA, it is accounted for in offensive runs above average, the third-to-last column of the team batting leaderboard dashboard. The Dodgers are third in baseball, and squarely in the top 5, with a somewhat large dropoff after that, and still below-median in runs scored. It’s not like they play in an offensive desert either.