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Dodgers 2017 season in thirds: The first 54 games

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Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I said I was not going to be around this week, but changed my mind. One of my favorite posts to do each year are the breakdown of each season in thirds. Wednesday marked the 54th game of the season for the Dodgers, so their 2017 is one-third over.

This has been the best Dodgers season since the first year I started tracking this, in 2009. The club is on pace for 99 wins, over 800 runs, and have outscored their opponents by 1.59 runs per game so far.

First 54 games

Year W-L Runs for Runs allowed BA/OBP/SLG ERA
Year W-L Runs for Runs allowed BA/OBP/SLG ERA
2017 33-21 271 (5.02/gm) 185 (3.43/gm) .258/.340/.425 3.20
2016 28-26 230 (4.26/gm) 195 (3.61/gm) .283/.309/.374 3.38
2015 31-23 245 (4.54/gm) 195 (3.61/gm) .261/.339/.450 3.44
2014 29-25 231 (4.28/gm) 221 (4.09/gm) .257/.324/.415 3.48
2013 23-31 193 (3.57/gm) 229 (4.24/gm) .257/.327/.375 3.88
2012 33-21 232 (4.30/gm) 199 (3.69/gm) .269/.342/.405 3.27
2011 24-30 187 (3.46/gm) 226 (4.19/gm) .248/.312/.360 3.99
2010 31-23 254 (4.70/gm) 246 (4.56/gm) .264/.331/.403 3.98
2009 36-18 295 (5.46/gm) 208 (3.85/gm) .285/.367/.414 3.75

Let’s look at the individual players, for whom the first third of the season is kind of easy. For the most part just multiply by three and there is your pace. Later on in the season, we can compare player to player to see how some improved and others didn’t.

Last year, the catchers got off to a slow start, but that was not the case this season, with both Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes very productive out of the gate.

Catchers - First 54 games

Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Grandal 41 157 17 45 14 0 5 23 0 0 16 39 0 1 1 175 0.287 0.351 0.471 0.822 0.351
Barnes 13 55 13 15 7 1 2 8 2 0 10 12 0 0 0 65 0.273 0.385 0.545 0.930 0.317
Catchers 54 212 30 60 21 1 7 31 2 0 26 51 0 1 1 240 0.283 0.360 0.491 0.850 0.342

Up next is the infield, buoyed by Corey Seager and Justin Turner, and the emergence of Chris Taylor. For utility players, I just placed them where they played the most, and didn’t break up their actual split totals at each position. Kiké Hernandez played more innings in the outfield so that’s where he goes. Scott Van Slyke had the same number of innings at first base and in the outfield, but he started more game at first, so he sticks in the infield for now.

Think how bizarre this is: the Dodgers are on pace for 99 wins, and they have one home run each from their opening day starters at first base, third base, and second base.

Infield - First 54 games

Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Turner 37 140 18 53 13 0 1 17 2 0 13 20 7 1 1 162 0.379 0.453 0.493 0.946 0.433
Taylor 29 117 23 37 7 0 6 19 1 2 19 37 0 0 0 136 0.316 0.412 0.530 0.942 0.419
Seager 49 189 37 54 13 0 7 24 2 0 32 45 1 0 1 223 0.286 0.390 0.466 0.856 0.341
Utley 30 111 15 27 4 3 3 15 3 1 13 19 3 1 1 129 0.243 0.336 0.414 0.750 0.267
Forysthe 20 69 9 17 3 0 1 6 1 0 13 24 3 0 1 86 0.246 0.384 0.333 0.717 0.356
Gonzalez 34 137 8 36 9 0 1 20 0 0 11 26 0 0 2 150 0.263 0.313 0.350 0.664 0.313
Van Slyke 7 41 6 5 1 0 2 3 1 0 6 15 0 0 0 47 0.122 0.234 0.293 0.527 0.125
Segedin 1 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 0.250 0.250 0.250 0.500 0.500
Infield 207 808 117 230 50 3 21 104 10 3 107 188 14 2 6 937 0.285 0.375 0.432 0.807 0.345

The outfield has for the most part been a mess, saved by two rookies who weren’t in the early-season Dodgers plans. Andrew Toles was tied for the Dodgers lead in home runs one day before tearing his ACL, and Cody Bellinger has been a power-hitting force. Despite not showing up until the final week of April, Bellinger leads the Dodgers in home runs and RBI.

Outfield - First 54 games

Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Player GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP SH SF PA BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP
Bellinger 33 127 25 32 5 1 11 29 1 0 14 45 0 0 1 142 0.252 0.324 0.567 0.891 0.292
Hernandez 27 106 23 27 15 1 4 18 2 0 12 21 0 1 2 121 0.255 0.325 0.528 0.853 0.277
Gutierrez 10 35 6 9 3 0 1 4 0 1 5 10 0 0 0 40 0.257 0.350 0.429 0.779 0.333
Toles 19 96 17 26 3 0 5 15 0 1 5 16 1 0 0 102 0.271 0.314 0.458 0.772 0.280
Eibner 5 23 3 5 0 0 2 6 0 0 1 12 1 0 0 25 0.217 0.280 0.478 0.758 0.333
Puig 48 179 25 41 5 0 9 29 6 2 19 41 0 0 3 201 0.229 0.299 0.408 0.706 0.242
Pederson 27 105 15 21 6 0 2 11 0 1 13 33 4 0 1 123 0.200 0.309 0.314 0.623 0.268
Thompson 2 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 8 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Outfield 171 679 114 161 37 2 34 112 9 5 69 181 6 1 7 762 0.237 0.310 0.448 0.758 0.270

Now we move to the starting pitchers, which brings me back to one of my preseason talking points. I thought the number 42 was a big reason why the Dodgers would be better in 2017 than in 2016. That was the total number of starts last year by Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Julio Urias, and I figured if that number could get up to at least 70 then this season would be productive.

Well, Hill was wiped out for a while with blisters, and Urias was inconsistent, but even with that those three combined for 21 starts through the first third, a pace for a 50-percent increase over last year. The lesson: it helps to have Kershaw back anchoring things. And having Alex Wood as a just-as-good part of the rotation has been great too.

Starting rotation - First 54 games

Pitcher G QS W L IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G QS W L IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Kershaw 11 9 7 2 76.0 62 22 20 10 10 0 78 0 2.37 0.947 3.25
Maeda 9 2 4 2 48.3 48 29 28 8 14 1 46 1 5.21 1.283 4.32
McCarthy 8 5 5 1 46.7 39 17 17 3 12 0 41 1 3.28 1.093 3.11
Wood 8 3 5 0 42.7 33 11 9 1 14 2 56 2 1.90 1.102 1.86
Ryu 8 2 2 5 42.0 45 25 20 8 16 2 40 4 4.29 1.452 5.06
Urias 5 1 0 2 23.3 23 15 14 1 14 1 11 1 5.40 1.586 4.61
Hill 5 0 2 2 22.0 19 10 10 3 14 0 21 2 4.09 1.500 5.25
Starters 54 22 25 14 301.0 269 129 118 34 94 6 293 11 3.53 1.206 3.71

The bullpen is back at or near the top of most categories in MLB, but perhaps more importantly is on pace for far fewer appearances then in their record-setting 2016. Kenley Jansen still hasn’t walked a single batter. Ridiculous.

Bullpen - First 54 games

Pitcher G W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G W L Sv IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP ERA WHIP FIP
Jansen 20 2 0 8 20.0 13 4 3 1 0 0 35 0 1.35 0.650 0.35
Stripling 17 0 3 1 30.3 29 9 9 1 6 2 34 0 2.67 1.154 1.78
Hatcher 19 0 1 28.0 30 12 11 5 5 0 32 0 3.54 1.250 3.77
Baez 22 0 0 22.7 11 3 3 2 12 1 22 0 1.19 1.015 3.86
Fields 21 2 0 1 21.3 14 2 2 1 4 0 26 0 0.84 0.844 1.93
Romo 22 1 1 18.0 16 13 13 4 8 1 20 0 6.50 1.333 5.03
Avilan 23 0 1 15.0 15 5 5 0 8 1 20 0 3.00 1.533 1.93
Dayton 14 1 1 12.0 9 7 7 2 6 1 9 0 5.25 1.250 5.12
Wood 2 1 0 5.3 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0.00 0.188 2.26
Ryu 1 0 0 1 4.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0.00 0.750 2.95
Liberatore 4 0 0 3.3 3 1 1 0 2 0 5 0 2.70 1.500 2.00
Morrow 2 1 0 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.000 2.20
Bullpen 167 8 7 11 182.0 142 56 54 16 53 6 210 0 2.67 1.071 2.81