OOTP 21: March/April Recap – Some surprises, some disappointments

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

We’re through one month of the virtual 2020 MLB season, and while there’s some optimism about real-life baseball being played relatively soon, I wouldn’t hold my breath yet.

First, let’s check in on the virtual NL West standings through the season’s first month.

TeamWLPct.GB
Dodgers1812.600
Padres1714.5481.5
Giants1516.4843.5
D’backs1417.4524.5
Rockies1217.4145.5

Aside from Arizona struggling a bit, the standings are pretty believable. And for as poorly as the team has played and as perplexing some of the decisions Dave Roberts has made, they’re still on a 97-win pace.

In the rest of the NL, the Mets and Reds are leading the way. New York is an MLB-best 22-9, while the Reds are 20-10. The Phillies are 19-12 and leading the Wild Card. The Brewers and Padres are tied for the second spot.

In the American League, the Rays are pacing the junior circuit at 23-10. The White Sox are leading the Central at 18-13 and the Astros are atop the West at 17-14. The Yankees are 18-14 and in the first Wild Card spot, while the surprising Royals are 17-14 and in the second spot.

Statistically, the Dodgers have gotten some solid performance, but there are also players who are under-performing.

PlayerHRRBIAVGOBPSLGOPS+WAR
Mookie Betts822.304.368.5891521.4
Justin Turner717.294.397.5291461.3
Will Smith512.263.321.5131190.8
Cody Bellinger418.243.366.4501180.7
Joc Pederson924.260.342.5731400.7
Gavin Lux516.297.366.5161340.7
Corey Seager212.269.343.395980.3
Max Muncy616.155.339.361890.2

As expected, Betts is doing his thing. Turner is off to a surprisingly hot start, especially in the power department. Bellinger is struggling a bit as he comes of his 2019 MVP campaign. Pederson is tied with Eugenio Suarez for the NL lead in home runs. Lux is five months away from the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Seager and Muncy are struggling, but the Dodgers are getting the slack picked up by others.

Here’s how things look on the pitching front.

PlayerERAFIPBB/9K/9WAR
Walker Buehler2.282.411.211.61.7
Clayton Kershaw3.233.201.28.51.1
Julio Urias3.623.531.110.00.8
David Price3.123.904.46.50.7
Alex Wood6.235.553.06.20.0

Buehler is making a great case for the Cy Young early on, while Kershaw is more than holding his own as the team’s No. 2 starter. Urias is off to a solid start, with some strong peripheral numbers. Price isn’t missing as many bats, but he’s still been pretty effective. Wood, on the other hand, as struggled mightily.

And here’s the bullpen.

PlayerERAFIPBB/9K/9WAR
Kenley Jansen3.651.032.213.90.8
Ross Stripling0.842.250.811.80.3
Brusdar Graterol1.932.096.814.50.3
Pedro Baez1.231.746.114.70.3
Blake Treinen2.704.052.78.80.1
Adam Kolarek4.663.592.84.70.1
Edubray Ramos0.003.884.54.50.0
Caleb Ferguson7.156.865.613.5-0.4

Despite a couple hiccups, Jansen is throwing pretty well. The trio of Stripling, Graterol and Baez have been strong, even if Graterol (in Triple-A currently) and Baez have been a little wild. Kolarek has been overexposed, while Ramos has all of two innings under his belt. And then we come to Mr. Ferguson, the punching bag of the early season virtual Dodgers’ bullpen. He has been downright bad, even if he carries a high strikeout rate.

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We’ll do standings and statistical updates every month from here on out, with the standings perhaps being updated more frequently.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.