Friday, November 9, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers Can Match the Yankees in Spending, But Not in Success

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been dishing a lot of money lately, and have even been compared to the New York Yankees a couple of times for their free-spending ways.  But can they match the Yanks not only in money spent but in winning the World Series too?

No, no they can't.  

First of all, their offensive performance isn't good enough in a few key statistics.  Sports Illustrated postulated in their October 8 issue that two big reasons teams win in the playoffs are low strikeout rates among their hitters and high batting averages with runners in scoring position (RISP).  If you look at the numbers, this does seem to be true to a certain extent, since six World Series teams from 2009 to 2012 were in the bottom six in the Majors in number of strikeouts.  Five of the last eight clubs to make the World Series had a RISP in the top eight in the MLB.  

The Dodgers aren't nearly that good.

In the last four years, they've finished no better than 18th in the Majors in RISP, although Adrian Gonzalez ranked second among first basemen last season in RISP (.392).  The Dodgers were also no better than 10th in lowest number of strikeouts since 2009. 

Then there's the problem of winning during the regular season for the Dodgers, who put together a 86-76 record last season.  That's nothing to be ashamed of, but it didn't get them into the postseason.  They need to win more close and extra-inning games if they want to make the playoffs, which would be the first step to winning a title.  

So the Los Angeles Dodgers may be, as Jayson Stark referred to them on, "Yankees West" in terms of spending, but they're not going to match the Yanks in terms of titles.  

There are too many things they need to improve upon to catch the Commissioner's Trophy.  

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