Road statistics reveal so much about LA’s underrated offense – New York Post

Road statistics reveal so much about LA's underrated offense - New York Post nevin manimala

Major League Baseball wants to keep the nation’s eyes glued to TVs (or other devices) on the heels of this week’s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. That’s why the defending world champion Boston Red Sox are scheduled to host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a broadcast friendly World Series rematch.

Saturday night’s meeting at Fenway Park will enjoy a significant regional window (Fox, 7:15 p.m.). Sunday night’s series finale will go national (ESPN, 7 p.m.).

It’s possible this also will be a World Series preview for October, though futures markets don’t see it that way. The Dodgers were favorites at William Hill to win the National League heading into the season’s second stage … basically pick ’em against “the rest of the NL” at 6/5 (risk $60 to win $50, or anything in that ratio). Boston was a longshot to repeat as AL champs, priced at 10/1 (risk $100 to win $1,000, or anything in that ratio). If you’re wondering, the Dodgers are 7/2 to win the World Series, Boston 25/1.

The Yankees are a much more likely opponent for the Dodgers in the Fall Classic, sitting at 8/5 to win the AL, 3/1 to win it all.

As you assess these Dodgers-Red Sox rumbles, be aware the mainstream media generally gives too much credit to the Dodgers’ pitching staff and not enough to their offense. Dodger Stadium typically plays as a pitchers’ park. This season, it’s the No. 9-rated pitcher’s park … reducing scoring by nine percent.

You regulars know VSiN encourages bettors to look at “road only” stats to help minimize statistical illusions created by home parks. With that in mind, entering weekend action …

  • Los Angeles led the National League in road on-base percentage at .337. That’s the traditional offensive stat best correlated to run production. Teams that get guys on base score runs. The Dodgers actually ranked fifth in the major leagues in road on-base percentage, even though their pitchers have to bat most of the time.
  • Not coincidentally, Los Angeles led the National League in road walks drawn (third in the majors). That means this offense wears down opposing starting pitchers more quickly to attack mediocre bullpens. Getting runners on base while forcing high pitch-counts is even more potent.
  • The Dodgers were fourth in the National League in road slugging percentage at .435, 10th in the majors.

VSiN doesn’t mean to diminish the Dodgers’ pitching staff. It’s also good enough to win a championship. But, its road ERA ranked only fifth in the NL at 4.28. It ranked a disappointing 13th in the NL in road strikeouts (third worst). In 2019, the staff has been unhittable at home, mediocre on the road.

That last point may be good news for Red Sox fans hoping a big weekend helps jump-start another run to the postseason. Boston urgently needs to lift its game against quality. The Red Sox were just 17-25 this season versus opponents currently at .500 or better in the first half of the season.

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