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Dodgers records, league leaders, and notable stats from the 2021 season

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Some interesting numbers from a 106-win season

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The regular season for the 2021 Dodgers is over and the playoffs await. But before we move on, let’s look back at some notable statistics and feats from the year.

Team records

At 106-56 (.654), the Dodgers set a record for best record by a defending World Series champion in the divisional era.

Before 1969, there were 10 defending champs who finished with a higher winning percentage, only in a shorter schedule. That list is dominated by the Yankees (six teams) and Philadelphia A’s (three teams). The last defending World Series winner with a better record than these Dodgers was the 1954 Yankees at 103-51 (.669).

The Dodgers scored 830 runs, averaging 5.12 per game. That was 26 runs more than the Giants, who scored the second-most in the National League. Los Angeles also allowed 561 runs, best in the NL, 33 fewer than the Giants.

The Dodgers also led the NL in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as well. They are the second team in MLB history to lead its league in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed, along with the 1936-39 Yankees.

At Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers ended the season with five straight sweeps, the 15-game home win the longest in the modern era (1901-present) of the franchise.

106 wins matched the Dodgers’ franchise record set in 2019, the club’s third 100-win season since 2017. The Dodgers finished the best five-year win percentage in franchise history, going 451-258 (.636), surpassing the 1951-55 stretch that saw the Brooklyn Boys of Summer go 488-283 (.633).

Sixty-one different players appeared in a game for the Dodgers in 2021, six more than they’ve used in any other year. Thirty-nine of those were pitchers (including one-off mound action for position players Justin Turner and Andy Burns), eight more than the previous-most in Dodgers history. Neither list includes pitcher Ryan Meisinger, who was on the active roster for one day (September 1) but did not appear in a game.

The Dodgers placed 36 different players on the injured list in 2021, a franchise record.

A handful of individual Dodgers led the league in various categories, including Trea Turner atop several categories in his season split between Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

2021 Dodgers individual league leaders

Statistic Player Result Last Dodgers league leader
Statistic Player Result Last Dodgers league leader
Batting average Trea Turner .328* Eddie Murray (1990)
Hits Trea Turner 195* Steve Garvey (1980)
Total bases Trea Turner 319 Cody Bellinger (2019)
Stolen bases Trea Turner 32 Dee Gordon (2014)
FanGraphs WAR Trea Turner 6.7* Matt Kemp (2011)
Pitcher wins Julio Urías 20* Clayton Kershaw (2017)
Pitcher W/L% Julio Urías .870* Walker Buehler (2019)
WHIP Max Scherzer 0.864* Zack Greinke (2015)
Games started Walker Buehler 33 Clayton Kershaw (2015)
Hits allowed/9 IP Max Scherzer 5.972* Clayton Kershaw (2012)
Walks allowed/9 IP Max Scherzer 1.807 Hyun-jin Ryu (2019)
*led majors

Welcome aboard

Nine different Dodgers made their major league debuts in 2021:

  • April 9: outfielder Luke Raley
  • April 23: outfielder DJ Peters
  • April 30: pitcher Edwin Uceta
  • June 21: outfielder Zach Reks
  • July 6: pitcher Jake Reed
  • July 9: pitcher Darien Núñez
  • July 20: pitcher Josiah Gray
  • August 8: pitcher Justin Bruihl
  • August 16: pitcher Andre Jackson

Other stuff

Dodgers pitchers led the majors with a 136 ERA+, the best mark by a National League team in a full season in 112 years. The 1909 Cubs had a 147 ERA+, part of a five-year stretch of excellent Chicago pitching, with the four best full-season ERA+ marks in NL history. The 2020 Dodgers, in a 60-game pandemic-truncated year, had a 146 ERA+, tied for third-best in NL history in any year of the modern era.

The busiest traveler was Mitch White, who was called up to the majors 10 different times and optioned 10 more times, for 20 total in-season transactions. White appeared in 21 total games, including at least once in all 10 major league stints in 2021. Four of his MLB stints lasted only one day, and one lasted two days. Edwin Uceta was second to White in up-and-downs, getting recalled seven times and optioned seven times.

Ten different Dodgers recorded saves in 2021, the most in franchise history since 1980. The club record is 11 saves, set in 1979. Brooklyn in 1941 and 1946 also had 11 players with saves, but only retroactively since saves weren’t an official statistic until 1969.