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Rafael Furcal Is Painting A Masterpiece This Season

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Rafael Furcal is hands down the Dodgers MVP this season.
Rafael Furcal is hands down the Dodgers MVP this season.

There are 31 shortstops this season with at least 250 plate appearances, so that works out nicely to basically one per team. Among those 31 major league shortstops, Rafael Furcal ranks...

  • 1st in batting average (.320)
  • 1st in on-base percentage (.383)
  • 1st in slugging percentage (.500)
  • 1st in OPS (.883)
  • 1st in wOBA (.388)
  • 1st in Wins Above Replacement (4.0 WAR)
  • 1st in runs per game (0.77)
  • Tied for 6th in runs scored (57)
  • 4th in stolen bases (18)

The Dodger record for OPS by a shortstop (minimum 80 games played at short) is .903, by Glenn Wright in 1930. Of course, 1930 was perhaps the most ridiculous offensive environment in history. Even Garret Anderson could have hit .300/.400/.500 in that type of environment (he didn't though; his career started a few years after 1930). Wright's adjusted OPS (OPS+) in 1930 was 115, good enough for the sixth best OPS+ ever by a Dodger shortstop.

The highest OPS+ ever by a Dodger shortstop was 126, by Hall of Famer Arky Vaughan in 1943. Furcal currently has a 140 OPS+ this season. Not only has Furcal been the team MVP this year, he just might end up with the greatest season ever by a Dodger shortstop.

Oh yeah, Clayton Kershaw returns today from suspension, with a full six days of rest from his eight scoreless innings against the Mets. He has made two starts this year on six days rest, with mixed results. On June 16, Kershaw beat the Reds while allowing one run in 7 1/3 innings, and July 15 he lost to the Cardinals, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

New Numbers

With the Dodgers, Ted Lilly will wear uniform number 29, Ryan Theriot will wear 13, and Octavio Dotel will wear 26.

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.

Game Time: 5 p.m.

TV: ESPN

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