The Dodgers and Giants are more alike then you might think. What I mean is, if you compare the two teams, they are very evenly matched statistically. The Dodgers have slightly better pitching, but the Giants have slightly better hitting. This is according to what the numbers show. Before you tar and feather me take a look further.
This could be the closest division race in the long and storied history of the Dodger/Giant rivalry. Both teams are separated by only a half game. The Dodgers with the half game advantage. If you take a look at the rest of their numbers, the two teams match up almost identically.
The Dodgers rank 20th in batting, while the Giants rank ninth, but their numbers are very similar. Check them out below.
Both teams have scored almost the same amount of runs, and have drawn close to the same amount of walks.
Dodgers – 491 runs scored. 382 walks.
Giants- 520 runs scored. 368 walks.
The Dodgers have hit 78 home runs, the Giants have hit 77. The Dodgers have hit 206 doubles, the Giants 204. The similarities go even further. Check out the pitching stats.
The Dodgers rank third in pitching with a staff ERA of 3.34. meanwhile the Giants rank eighth in the majors with a 3.69 ERA.
Dodgers-3.34 ERA (ranks 3rd) 963 whiffs. Batting average against-BAA (.234) WHIP-1.21-Walks allowed-405
Giants-3.69 ERA (ranks 8th) 921 whiffs. Batting average against-BAA-(.246) WHIP-1.26-walks allowed-360
The Dodgers have allowed the least amount of home runs in all of Baseball with 90. The Giants are right behind with 106 allowed.
Let’s take a look at a very important stat. Each team’s run differentials. The Dodgers have allowed 452 runs and have scored 491. The Giants have allowed 491 runs and have scored 520. Below is both team’s run differential, and as you can see they are very close.
Dodgers- +39 -Giants-+29
As for both team’s fielding? Well that is as close as it can be as well. The Dodgers rank 22nd in team fielding, and the Giants rank 26th.
Dodgers Fielding %-.983 Errors-81 Defensive efficiency-.703
Giants Fielding %-.981 Errors-85 Defensive efficiency-.696
Now if you think both teams couldn’t possibly get any more evenly matched, then think again. Check out these home and road splits.
Giants home-35-26 Road-31-29
In one run games, the Dodgers are 22-19, while the Giants are a tick better at 23-17. Both teams play poorly against the American League (Dodgers 6-9, Giants 7-8). Both teams are similar in many ways this year. Both teams have very good pitching, but weak hitting. Both teams have weak benches. Both teams have one superstar + a sidekick. (Matt Kemp + Andre Ethier, and Buster Posey + Pablo Sandoval). Both teams traded for a power bat at the trade deadline. (Hanley Ramirez, and Hunter Pence).
Both teams are almost identical in one of the most important stats of all, hitting with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers are batting .255/.345/.355 with 22 home runs, 374 RBI, and 261 runs scored.
How have the Giants fared? Well their line is eerily similar .248/.325/.366 with 22 home runs, 388 RBI, and 279 runs scored. Of course the Dodgers lead in the category of class, but that is another story.
The pitching match-ups this week are evenly matched as well. On Monday night, Lefty Madison Bumgarner(13-7) will battle Dodger lefty ace Clayton Kershaw (11-6). On Tuesday night, the struggling Tim Lincecum (6-13), vs. the Dodgers new struggling righty Joe Blanton (8-11). Wednesday’s match-up will be Lefty Chris Capuano (11-8), against Giant’s ace Matt Cain (12-5).
With the two teams as even as they can get, the NL West division may come down to the final game of the season against the two teams at Dodger Stadium on October 3rd. I still believe that those head to head games remaining will determine who will win the division. In that regard, the Dodgers hold a slight edge with a 5-4 lead. Tonight begins the first of those nine remaining head to head games between the two teams. With both teams as evenly matched as noted above, the race is going to be a brutal dogfight that goes down to the last inning of the last game.
Which team will come out victorious? We don’t know. We can only hope that on October 3rd of this year, we will be hoisting the Dodger’s 12th division crown flag in 2012. Prepare for war Dodger fans! Go Blue.