The upcoming best of 7-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals will decide who goes to the World Series. Since the stakes are so high It is worth looking at basic fundamental production levels of each team from the 2013 regular season:
Runs Scored: Cardinals – 783, Dodgers – 649
Runs Allowed: Cardinals – 596, Dodgers – 582
Both teams play in slightly pitcher friendly ballparks so we don’t need to adjust the numbers much. We can say the run prevention skills during the season were nearly identical for each team.
You say “what about since Yasiel Puig joined the Dodgers?”. It’s true that the Dodgers offense improved significantly since Puig and Hanley Ramirez were inserted into the lineup in early June. LA managed just three and one-half runs per game in the first two months of the season as opposed to four and one-quarter in the final 109 games.
Finally, the Dodgers best offensive month was July. They scored an even five runs/game in twenty-five contests. This average is just barely better than the Cardinals’s full season performance.
Simply put the Dodgers pitching is going to have to be superb in order to slow the juggernaut that is the Cardinals lineup. Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke may have to pull a Randy Johnson/Curt Schilling circa 2001 performance against St. Louis in order for Donnie Baseball to get his ticket punched to the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Hanley Ramirez is on a very short list of historically awesome hitting shortstops. In all of MLB history only three guys have played 500 games at SS while posting a career .300 batting average + .500 slugging percentage.
Rockies defensive extraordinaire Troy Tulowitzki is within spitting distance of making the list. In his short career Tulo has hit .296 + .512 SLG%.