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March Madness: Dodger Style

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Just how will the 2009 Dodgers' season play out?  Will they win the NL West?  Will they make the World Series for the first time in 21 years?  Will they win it all?  Will they miss the playoffs altogether?  How will the Dodger offense stack up with the rest of the league?  What about the pitching?

I decided to frame our community projections with a theme familiar to this time of year.  The NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament starts Thursday (not counting the play-in game of course), so as a group we will decide how the Dodgers will do this season by picking which Dodger team of the past 64 years this club is most like.

The last 64 Dodger seasons (1945-2008) have been seeded completely subjectively, and we will have a bracket just like the NCAA tournament.  Each round of the voting will coincide with the actual rounds of the tournament, culminating with the final vote on Opening Day, which is also the date of the NCAA Final.

Remember, what you are voting on is:  Which of these teams is most like the 2009 Dodgers?

Dodger_bracket_medium

Here are the first round matchups.  Be sure to click on each matchup to vote.

Branch Rickey Region

1) 1995 (78-66, .542, 1st place NL West; 107 OPS+, 104 ERA+) vs.
16) 1958 (71-83, .461, 7th place NL, 92 OPS+, 92 ERA+)

8) 1946 (96-60, .615, lost 2-gm playoff to StL; 109 OPS+, 111 ERA+) vs.
9) 1991 (93-69, .574, 2nd place NL West, 101 OPS+, 117 ERA+)

5) 1959 (88-68, .564, World Series Champs, 96 OPS+, 111 ERA+) vs.
12) 1998 (83-79, .512, 3rd place NL West, 92 OPS+, 106 ERA+)

4) 1983 (91-71, .562, 1st place NL West; 100 OPS+, 116 ERA+) vs.
13) 1999 (77-85, .475, 3rd place NL West, 102 OPS+, 97 ERA+)

3) 1978 (95-67, .562, NL Pennant; 115 OPS+, 112 ERA+) vs.
14) 1993 (81-81, .500, 4th place NL West, 97 OPS+, 110 ERA+)

6) 1994 (58-56, .509, 1st place NL West; 106 OPS+, 95 ERA+) vs.
11) 1955 (98-55, .641, World Series Champs, 116 OPS+, 111 ERA+)

7) 1974 (102-60, .630, NL Champs; 118 OPS+, 115 ERA+) vs.
10) 1973 (95-66, .590, 2nd place NL West, 102 OPS+, 116 ERA+)

2) 1981 (63-47, .573, World Series Champs, 105 OPS+, 112 ERA+) vs.
15) 1989 (77-83, .481, 4th place NL West, 92 OPS+, 117 ERA+)

Al Campanis Region

1) 2004 (93-69, .574, 1st place NL West; 104 OPS+, 102 ERA+) vs.
16) 1968 (76-86, .469, 7th place NL, 95 OPS+, 102 ERA+)

8) 1948 (84-70, .545, 3rd place NL; 99 OPS+, 106 ERA+) vs.
9) 2008 (84-78, .519, lost NLCS, 98 OPS+, 116 ERA+)

5) 1985 (95-67, .586, 1st place NL West, 108 OPS+, 115 ERA+) vs.
12) 1951 (97-60, .618, lost 3-gm playoff to NYG, 117 OPS+, 101 ERA+)

4) 2002 (92-70, .568, 3rd place NL West; 103 OPS+, 103 ERA+) vs.
13) 1979 (79-83, .488, 3rd place NL West, 110 OPS+, 95 ERA+)

3) 1970 (87-74, .540, 2nd place NL West; 103 OPS+, 100 ERA+) vs.
14) 1984 (79-83, .488, 4th place NL West, 91 OPS+, 111 ERA+)

6) 1975 (88-74, .543, 2nd place NL West; 103 OPS+, 117 ERA+) vs.
11) 1952 (96-57, .627, NL Pennant, 115 OPS+, 103 ERA+)

7) 1961 (89-65, .578, 2nd place NL; 97 OPS+, 107 ERA+) vs.
10) 2001 (86-76, .531, 2nd place NL West, 105 OPS+, 93 ERA+)

2) 2006 (88-74, .543, NL Wild Card, 105 OPS+, 106 ERA+) vs.
15) 1964 (80-82, .494, 6th place NL, 95 OPS+, 110 ERA+)

Walter Alston Region

1) 1980 (92-71, .564, lost 1-gm playoff to Hou; 107 OPS+, 108 ERA+) vs.
16) 1967 (73-89, .451, 8th place NL, 96 OPS+, 96 ERA+)

8) 1972 (85-70, .548, 2nd place NL West; 101 OPS+, 120 ERA+) vs.
9) 1950 (89-65, .578, 2nd place NL, 113 OPS+, 96 ERA+)

5) 1996 (90-72, .556, NL Wild Card, 98 OPS+, 112 ERA+) vs.
12) 1957 (84-70, .545, 3rd place NL, 91 OPS+, 124 ERA+)

4) 1990 (86-76, .531, 2nd place NL West; 103 OPS+, 99 ERA+) vs.
13) 2003 (85-77, .525, 2nd place NL West, 84 OPS+, 128 ERA+)

3) 2000 (86-76, .531, 2nd place NL West; 105 OPS+, 106 ERA+) vs.
14) 1953 (105-49, .682, lost World Series, 125 OPS+, 104 ERA+)

6) 1956 (93-61, .604, lost World Series; 105 OPS+, 113 ERA+) vs.
11) 1969 (85-77, .525, 4th place NL West, 102 OPS+, 107 ERA+)

7) 1977 (98-64, .605, NL Champs; 108 OPS+, 119 ERA+) vs.
10) 1965 (97-65, .599, World Series Champs, 93 OPS+, 116 ERA+)

2) 1982 (88-74, .543, 2nd place NL West, 108 OPS+, 107 ERA+) vs.
15) 1986 (73-89, .451, 5th place NL West, 99 OPS+, 92 ERA+)

Tommy Lasorda Region

1) 1997 (88-74, .543, 2nd place NL West; 107 OPS+, 107 ERA+) vs.
16) 1992 (63-99, .389, last place NL West, 92 OPS+, 102 ERA+)

8) 1976 (92-70, .568, 2nd place NL West; 96 OPS+, 113 ERA+) vs.
9) 1966 (95-67, .586, lost World Series, 101 OPS+, 125 ERA+)

5) 1988 (94-67, .584, won World Series, 97 OPS+, 113 ERA+) vs.
12) 1960 (82-72, .532, 4th place NL, 95 OPS+, 116 ERA+)

4) 1945 (87-67, .565, 3rd place NL; 111 OPS+, 102 ERA+) vs.
13) 2007 (82-80, .525, 4th place NL West, 93 OPS+, 109 ERA+)

3) 1963 (99-63, .611, World Series Champs; 106 OPS+, 105 ERA+) vs.
14) 2005 (71-91, .438, 4th place NL West, 96 OPS+, 94 ERA+)

6) 1947 (94-60, .610, lost World Series; 104 OPS+, 109 ERA+) vs.
11) 1962 (102-63, .618, lost 3-gm playoff to SF, 113 OPS+, 99 ERA+)

7) 1949 (97-57, .630, lost World Series; 112 OPS+, 108 ERA+) vs.
10) 1954 (92-62, .597, 2nd place NL, 110 OPS+, 95 ERA+)

2) 1971 (89-73, .549, 2nd place NL West, 108 OPS+, 100 ERA+) vs.
15) 1987 (73-89, .451, 4th place NL West, 86 OPS+, 108 ERA+)

When voting in each poll, remember you are choosing which team most closely resembles the 2009 Dodgers.  Take into account the regular season record, postseason performance, and strength of offense and pitching.  For instance, if you think the Dodgers this year will finish 90-72 (.556) with a 110 OPS+ and a 105 ERA+ you want to vote in each poll for the club that is closest to your projection (in this hypothetical example, you would probably hope 1945 or 1980 make the final four.

First round voting will run through Friday, March 20 at 5pm.  Second round voting will begin shortly thereafter.