James Loney: NL West Assassin, Sort Of

Dodgers @ Giants, 1:05pm

2009 is a pivotal year for James Loney.  The soon-to-be 25-year old first baseman is firmly entrenched as the starting first baseman for the immediate future, but for how long will that last?

Loney regressed in 2008, showing a decline in production across the board:

Year PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ wOBA
2006 111 .284 .342 .559 125 .377
2007 375 .331 .388 .538 131 .389
2008 651 .289 .338 .434 102 .333
Career 1137 .303 .353 .480 114 .356

One thing I thought was interesting is that over his career, Loney has fared best against the clubs he has faced the most.

Opponent PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
NL West 522 .319 .374 .519 129
Everyone Else   614 .288 .336 .448 101

We all know about his prowess against the Rockies -- 40 RBI in 40 games, only 29 of them starts -- but Loney has fared even better against the Diamonbacks and Padres.

Opponent PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Padres 108 .361 .417 .577 155
Diamondbacks  
133 .390 .429 .545 151
Rockies 139 .331 .388 .575 146

The only NL West team Loney has struggled against is today's opponent, the Giants.

Opponent PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Giants 142 .209 .275 .395 71

These are small sample sizes to be sure, but perhaps one reason Loney has struggled so much against San Francisco is that the Giants have started a left-handed pitcher in 12 of the last 26 games started by Loney against them.

What do these numbers mean?  Well, probably nothing, but I thought they were kind of interesting.

Be sure to get your final votes in for the 2009 Dodger Prediction Bracket contest.  Voting will run through Monday night, to determine which team -- 2004 or 1963 -- is most like the 2009 Dodger squad.

MLB.com Box Score | Gameday

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