Dodgers: Giving Out Mid-Season Grades for all of LA’s Key Groups



And just like that, we’ve already reached the halfway point of a truly strange 2020 season. In a normal year, we would currently be nearing the stretch run of a 162 game marathon, but having just started in July, it feels like it’s all flying by much too quickly.

The good news is that the Dodgers have been playing good baseball up to this point of the season, but the greater news is that they still have the potential to play even better. That being said, let’s take a look at how the Boys in Blue have performed thus far after coming into the season with some pretty lofty goals.

Starters

Key numbers

  • Record: 10-4 (4th)
  • Combined ERA: 3.34 (2nd)
  • Innings Pitched: 148.1 (4th)
  • Strikeouts: 135 (6th)
  • Average Against: .223 (6th)

The starting rotation has been a rotating deck, as the Dodgers have already used 7 different starters to this point in the season. Overall, however, they have been a pretty solid group. The rank in the top 10 in baseball in pretty much every important category and have the 2nd best ERA behind only the Cleveland Indians.

If you have been watching Dodger games this season, you would think that they have not factored in as much due to shortened starts because of the lack of buildup. However, they rank 4th in innings pitched and have been key in helping the Dodgers have the best record at the halfway point of the season. Dustin May and Clayton Kershaw have been incredible and Walker Buehler is finally starting to look like himself again. The only negative here is that the Dodgers don’t have room for all of their quality starters in the rotation.

Mid Season Grade: B+

Bullpen

Key Numbers

  • Record: 12-4 (3rd)
  • Combined ERA: 1.82 (1st)
  • Innings pitched: 123.2 (6th)
  • Strikeouts: 122 (12th)
  • Average Against: .181 (2nd)

The bullpen has easily been the Dodgers’ biggest strength halfway through the season. The expectations were there for a solid group, but there were also many unknowns with offseason additions. Blake Treinen has performed better than anyone could have expected, coming in with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched. Kenley Jansen has also been a big boost to his relieving core after a shaky 2019, already having notched 7 saves in 7 attempts with a 0.77 ERA in 13 appearances. As a group, the bullpen has given Dave Roberts peace of mind as everyone has performed when called upon. This group will be key in helping the Dodgers play deep into October.

Mid Season Grade: A

The Offense

Key Numbers

  • Combined Average: .250 (11th)
  • Combined OPS: .805 (3rd)
  • RBI: 163 (1st)
  • HR: 59 (1st)
  • Total Runs: 171 (1st)

The Dodgers offense has been largely boom or bust so far, but they’ve put up some of the best numbers in baseball. Their 59 home runs lead the league, and their offense has come from many unexpected places. No one in their right mind would’ve thought that Austin Barnes would have a better batting average than Cody Bellinger, yet that’s where we are. Mookie Betts has been even better than advertised and Corey Seager has been as consistent as they come. This offense has yet to fully click, but recent games suggest that they aren’t too far off from doing so. It’s almost ludicrous to suggest that a team leading the league in runs scored hasn’t performed up to expectations, but that’s how good this offense could potentially be.

Mid Season Grade: B- 

Final Thoughts

For a team still trying to figure things out, the Dodgers have done a great job of piecing things together while they wait for their starts to round into shape. This team had title expectations before they ever added Mookie Betts, so having baseball’s best record isn’t all that impressive to fans at this point. Still, they look like a team that is one or two clicks away from being absolutely unstoppable. Their +79 run differential is by far the best in baseball and seems to grow by the day. At the end of the day, there is no question who the best team has been up to this point. The only question that remains is if they will be the best team when it matters most.

And to think, we almost didn’t have baseball this year…

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