Dodger’s Trimester Report Cards

Here we are 20 games in and the Dodgers sit 13-7. No major win streaks, no major losing streaks. No series losses. Best run differential in the league at +51. Next best is Minnesota at +33. They also lead the league in home runs, RBI, total runs, ERA, and wins. Of course with all that they are essentially top 5 in almost every stat that indicates a good team.

The only major stat they’re not shining in is stolen base % and their base running in general. They’re not known for stealing but this seems to be the year of small ball with the importance of ever game going up. Still the Dodgers even have 5 top 100 sprinters on the team.

If they want to run, they’ll start doing it. But in the meantime, why risk and out when the guy at the plate will probably just hit a home run?

So clearly we are giving the Dodgers an A grade overall but they’re lucky they have depth. Some Dodgers are struggling mightily and some are performing average at best.

So today we are grading the starting offense and rotation so far.

Highlights

  • Starting Offense
  • Starting Rotation
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Starting Offense

This Dodgers offense is like climate change, extremely hot and cold. See who’s hot in cold in depth right here.

But here’s the gist. Mookie is worth every penny. Bellinger can’t get out of his head. A healthy Corey Seager is the best shortstop in baseball. Max Muncy broke his finger during summer camp and whether or not that’s why he’s slumping, he’s slumping hard.

But here’s the gist. Mookie is worth every penny. Bellinger can’t get out of his head. A healthy Corey Seager is the best shortstop in baseball. Max Muncy broke his finger during summer camp and whether or not that’s why he’s slumping, he’s slumping hard.

AJ Pollock loves being a dad since he’s OPSing .993 since bringing his daughter home after 128 days in the hospital. Offensively the Dodgers made the right choice in extending Taylor over Kiké, as much as we love Kiké.

Justin Turner is finally locked in. Edwin Rios is on pace to be the best home run hitter in the history of baseball. Joc and Beaty both seem completely lost at the plate on the other end.

And can we just say something just clicked in Barnes since his incident with Hedges on the Chris Taylor slide. Will Smith went down, and the Dodgers could maybe use an offensive catcher, but Barnes looks absolutely on fire these past few games.

The Dodgers are carried by A+ performances from Betts, Seager, and Pollock. But other studs on the team have started off slow and need to stay hot for a bit before they get more than a B- from us. As for Bellinger and Muncy, they get two big ole F’s for the funks they’re in. This season is already essentially botched for them as far as staying hot year to year, but they showed flashes of their greatness and they’ll figure it out.

Overall the Offense gets a B- from us.

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Starting Rotation

David Price opted out (and we’re here for it), and injuries has lead to the Dodger’s using 7 starters in their first 20 games.

  • Dustin May (4 starts)
    • 1-1, 2.75 ERA
    • Best stats: 97.8 MPH, the average speed of his most used pitched, his sinker. He’s tied for first in average velocity with DeGrom. But we probably have to give May the edge on whose is better when you factor in movement.
    • Worst stat: 2.75 vs 4.03 (His actual ERA versus his Expected ERA)
  • Ross Stripling (4 starts)
    • 3-1, 3.97 ERA
    • Best stats: Leads team with 20 SO, 22.2 IP, and 3 Wins
    • Worst stats: Leads team in Runs given up, Earned runs, and home runs
  • Julio Urias (4 starts)
    • 2-0, 2.53 ERA
    • Best stats: 2.53 ERA and Hard hit % of 21.2 (League Average= 34.7%)
    • Worst stats: 13 K’s / 6 BB’s in 21.1 IP
  • Walker Buehler (3 starts)
    • 0-0, 4.40 ERA
    • Best stats: 1.05 WHIP and .143 BAA, only 7 hits in 14.1 innings.
    • Worst stats: 8 BB’s and 4 of the 7 hits have gone over the fence. His current average launch angle off his pitches is 21.2. Basically the ideal angle for batters to get both hits and home runs.
  • Tony Gonsolin (2 starts)
    • 0-0, 0.00 ERA
    • Best stat: He’s only given up 1 extra base hit so far.
    • Worst stat: He has a hard hit rate of 40% so far. His expected ERA is 3.10 versus his 0.00
  • Clayton Kershaw (2 starts)
    • 1-1, 3.60 ERA
    • Best stats: The number 1. As in all of his pitches are averaging 1 MPH faster than they did last year. And as in 1 total walk in 10 IP. And so far his K% is 29.3. His highest since 2017.
    • Worst stats: He gave up 3 home runs and 4 total earned runs his last outing. He hopes to improve tonight.
  • Alex Wood (1 start)
    • 0-1, 9.00 ERA
    • Best Stats: He improved his spin rate on all of his pitches from last year
    • Worst Stats: Got injured after 3 IP and may not get another chance at starting.
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Dustin May is being rated as one of the top 5 best up and coming players by MLB. Cody Bellinger was 8th. He’s blowing people away with his heat and movement.

Urias is continuing to get overlooked as the promising young arm he is. After a rough 1st inning last night he went on to pitch into the 7th inning retiring 17 out of 19 batters. Oh yeah and reminder that he’s only 24.

Stripling is exactly what you want out of a back end starter. A guy that comes in and keeps your team in the game. That’s why he’s won 3 games already without keeping runs off the board. He gets it done according to the day most times rather than not.

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Buehler was late to camp and came into the rotation before expected. His innings have still been ramping up and his performance is slowly improving. His stats are no where near what he did last year. But he also hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in a start yet.

His last start against the Giants was almost perfect. His only issue was command, allowing 4 walks that would come around to bite him on the only hit he gave up all game. He’ll start against the Angels this weekend and if he does well the leash should come off.

Perhaps the nicest surprise this year is Tony Gonsolin. He’s gotten two spot starts and has been essentially flawless. and even Roberts is admitting that he needs to find a rotation spot for him. He’s reaching speeds he’s never reached before and has a commanding presence on the mound during games. Not too mention his splitter is lights out.

Kershaw has only had two starts, as he’s lined up for tonight against a heavy Angels lineup, and they’ve been polar opposites. His first outing looked like MVP Kersh. He was visibly upset giving up his first hit of the game in the 4th inning. He was feeling that good. His second start however, was a loss to the Giants who drove in 4 in 4 and 1/3 from Kershaw. He gave up 3 homers, his achilles from the last couple years. We’ll see which Kershaw sticks around for the season. The former could still win a Cy Young at this age.

Alex Wood started one game poorly and came out injured. He has been ramping up in the bullpen although it’s looking unlikely that he joins the rotation when he comes back. We could use another lefty in the pen anyways.

They are no doubt an A+ potential rotation. Their newest young guys are starting to breakout, but the two aces are still building up from the season delay. Plus the starters have only won 7 of the 13 wins, while losing 4 of the 7 losses.

We give the rotation a B+ for doing what they need to do most of the time, but its two biggest stars are still shaking off the rust. The league should be terrified if the Dodgers can get all their cogs working at once.

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