The Dodgers start play today ten games better than they were at this point in 2018. How are they different, here are ten things to look at. Also note that all of the 2018 statistics are totaled after the 42 games played point of the season.
1. NL West Standings
In 2018, the Dodgers were in fourth place, trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks by 8½ games. This season, the Dodgers lead the division by three games over both the Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres.
2. Overall offense off to better start
The Dodgers are averaging just over one run more per game than last year at this point.
Dodger Offense First 42 Games
|Year||Runs||Runs Per Game||HR||SO||BB|
|Year||Runs||Runs Per Game||HR||SO||BB|
3. A lot more home runs
As you can see above, the Dodgers have hit 67 home runs this season as compared to 39 home runs in 2018,
- Joc Pederson has the biggest difference as compared to last season. In 2018 he had hit one home run in the first 42 games, this season, he has 12
- Cody Bellinger leads the Dodgers with 14 home runs, last year he had six.
- Justin Turner had just returned to the lineup and he did not homer in his first two games back, this season he has six home runs
4. Hitting with runners in scoring position
The inability to hit with runners in scoring position was something that occasionally plagued the Dodgers in 2018 in spite of the fact that they led the National League in runs scored.
And certainly, it was a reason for the poor start to the 2018 season as you can see when you compare the numbers for 2019 versus 2018.
RISP First 42 Games
5. Dodger offense winning games when giving up four or more runs
Teams generally don’t have a great winning percentage when they give up four or more runs. In 2018, in the first 42 games, the Dodgers were 2-21 when that happened.
This season and including last night’s loss, the Dodgers are 10-14.
So in just about the same number of games played with four or more runs given up, the Dodgers have won eight more games.
This also ties into situations when the opposing team scores first, last year the Dodgers were 2-20 when their opponent scored first in the first 42 games. This year, the Dodgers are 10-9,
6. Bullpen is holding onto late leads at the same rate as last season
- 2018 Dodgers were 14-3 when they led after six innings, 15-2 leading after seven and 15-1 when leading after eight innings
- This season, the Dodgers are 18-4 when leading after six innings, 21-2 after seven innings and 22-1 when leading after eight innings.
7. Dodger pitchers are striking out less batters so far
Dodger pitchers are averaging 8.75 strikeouts per game after 42 games this season. Last year, the Dodgers averaged 9.54 strikeouts per game.
For the last three seasons, the Dodgers have led the National League in strikeouts, averaging over 9 strikeouts per game in each of those season.
8. Runs allowed is about the same as it was last year at this time
The Dodgers have allowed 174 runs for an average of 4.14 runs per game. In 2018, the Dodgers had given up 182 runs at this point of the season for an average of 4.33 runs per game.
The 2019 Dodgers will hope to recreate what the 2018 Dodgers did from this point forward when they gave up a league low 428 runs in their remaining 121 games, that averaged out to 3.54 runs per game.
9. Total unearned runs is higher in 2019
After 42 games in 2018, the Dodgers had given up 12 unearned runs. Including last night’s game, the Dodgers have given up 21 unearned runs.
10. Good starts generally lead to postseason appearances
Of the 13 prior Los Angeles Dodger teams that had a 26-16 or better record, seven made the postseason (Four won NL pennants and two, 1965 and 1981 teams won the World Series). Two teams, the 1962 and 1980 teams, finished tied for first place and then both teams lost their playoff to go to the postseason.
Three of those teams, 1972, 1975 and 1976, finished second behind the Cincinnati Reds. And the 2012 Dodgers were eliminated for a possible Wild Card berth in Game 161.
Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com and their Play Index for assisting in the preparation of this article.