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Dodgers trying for a National League first

LA leads NL in both runs scored & allowed. Again.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Even after the Dodgers found a way to blow four leads in Tuesday’s loss to the Giants, Los Angeles still leads the National League in fewest runs allowed on the season, at 3.29 per game.

The Dodgers also lead the NL in runs scored (5.77), which might seem familiar. At ESPN on Tuesday, David Schoenfield pointed out this rarity (including stats through Monday’s game):

Since 1901, 42 teams have led their league in both categories, but the Dodgers have a chance to make history. They also led the NL in both categories in 2018 and 2019, so they can become the first NL team to do so three years in a row and the first team to do so since the Yankees did it four years in a row before integration, from 1936 to 1939.

The Dodgers led the majors with a +77 run differential, with the next-best NL team (San Diego) at +23.

They’ve had better 31-game stretches in franchise history, including +91, +83, and +81 runs in 2019. The modern Dodgers record for best run differential for a 31-game stretch is +104 runs, by Brooklyn from July 16-August 15, 1953.

But to start a season, only one Dodgers team has outscored their opponents by more runs through the first 31 games than this year’s team.

Dodgers best 31-game run differential to start a season

Year City Runs scored Runs allowed Run differential Record Final win% (result)
Year City Runs scored Runs allowed Run differential Record Final win% (result)
1974 Los Angeles 172 93 +79 22-9 .630 (NL pennant)
1955 Brooklyn 191 114 +77 25-6 .641 (WS champs)
2020 Los Angeles 179 102 +77 22-9 TBD
1942 Brooklyn 184 111 +73 23-8 .675 (NL playoff)
1977 Los Angeles 180 108 +72 24-7 .605 (NL pennant)
1888 Brooklyn 178 108 +70 22-9 .629 (2nd; AA)
Source: Baseball-Reference

In case you were wondering or wanted to give the Dodgers a goal for Wednesday night, the 1974 team was at +85 after 32 games.