Cleat Geeks

SABERmetrics Sunday: Dodgers Win Pennant Behind Incredible Season

The Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time since 1988 are going to the World Series. They beat the defending champion Chicago Cubs in five games in the NLCS. It was a season that was fueled by 105 regular season wins and an NLDS sweep of the Diamondbacks. This was one of the best seasons in Dodger history, and clearly a top team in baseball.

They dominated from day one of the 2017 season from their pitching to their offense. To see how well their team played this year, lets take a look at some numbers. Thanks again Fangraphs.


.334 OBP (3rd in NL), .771 OPS (5th in NL), 104 wRC+ (1st in NL), 4.1 UBR (5th in NL), 10.5 BB% (1st in NL), .293 BABIP (12th in NL), 30.1 WAR (1st in NL)

Starting Pitching

3.74 FIP (2nd lowest in NL), 1.15 WHIP (lowest in NL), 25.2% K (highest in NL), 7.1% BB (2nd lowest NL), 1.16 HR-9 (2nd lowest in NL), 9.27 K-9 (3rd highest in NL) .281 BABIP (lowest in NL) 16.7 WAR (3rd highest in NL)


3.55 FIP (lowest in NL), 1.15 WHIP (lowest in NL) 27.7% K (highest in NL), 8.0% BB (lowest in NL), 1.13 HR-9 (7th in NL), 10.24 K-9 (highest in NL), .281 BABIP (2nd lowest in NL), 7.5 WAR (highest in NL)


48 DRS (most in NL), 20.5 UZR (3rd in NL), .824 RZR (3rd in NL), 24.5 DEF (3rd in NL)

The Dodgers were among the top or at the top of many key statistical categories. Their offense created the most runs and did not rely on BABIP luck to create. Their BABIP was no where near the top, but the ability to create runs and get on base at such a good rate shows how efficient this team is offensively. They certainly did not just rely on the long ball or slugging, they created all sorts of scoring chances and capitalized.

The pitching across the board was all really good. Both the pen and starters struck out the most batters while not walking people and not giving up a ton of home runs. Their respective WHIPS showed they were not only good at preventing run scoring, but also preventing baserunners getting on. It helps when your staff has the best starting pitcher in baseball and arguably the best closer with a supporting cast of Alex Wood, a rejuvenated Rich Hill and Yu Darvish.

Overall, this team was fundamentally sound in all areas and played efficient ballgames to get to the World Series. The 2017 Dodgers are a perfect model of success.

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