Deep in terms of depth, versatility, brain power and newfound star power (in the form of rookie National League MVP Award candidate Cody Bellinger), the Dodgers have become the juggernaut we always knew (or feared) they could be. They are dismantling teams in this month of June, winning not just
Deep in terms of depth, versatility, brain power and newfound star power (in the form of rookie National League MVP Award candidate Cody Bellinger), the Dodgers have become the juggernaut we always knew (or feared) they could be. They are dismantling teams in this month of June, winning not just 10 straight, but 16 of their past 17 to take the top spot in baseball's best division, the NL West.
Whether this all leads to the Dodgers' first World Series title since 1988 remains to be seen, but they have major midseason mojo. Here are 10 numbers that help explain their streak and their standing:
Plus-138: The Dodgers' run differential this season, best in MLB by 19 runs over the Astros. The Dodgers have outscored opponents, 120-63, going back to June 7, which marked the start of this scintillating stretch of 16 wins in 17 tries.
17: Consecutive games with a homer for the Dodgers, going into Monday night's matchup with the Angels. This streak ties the team record since moving to Los Angeles (May 29-June 16, 1960). The franchise record is 24, by the '53 Brooklyn Dodgers.
93-0: This is Clayton Kershaw's amazing, immaculate record (with four no-decisions) when spotted at least four runs of support by his teammates while he is in the game -- a mark extended in Saturday's 4-0 victory over the Rockies. The start prior to that, Kershaw had a rare clunker in which allowed six runs in 6 1/3 innings to the Mets, but his teammates put up seven runs in the first two innings of a 10-6 win. Elias Sports Bureau tracks run support by total runs scored in the game (not just while the starter is in the game), and they tell us Kershaw is 97-5 (.951) when the Dodgers score four-plus on the day he pitches. No active pitcher with a minimum of 30 decisions has a better winning percentage in such situations. The next-closest is the Blue Jays' Marco Estrada with a 36-2 mark (.947). There are just seven other pitchers above .900 (minimum 30 decisions), and no one else above .900.
.764: The Dodgers' winning percentage when Bellinger starts. Extrapolate that over a full season, and the Dodgers would win 124 games. Since his April 25 debut, they have been the best team in baseball (.737 winning percentage), with a 3 1/2-game "lead" on the Astros in this span.
57: The total number of games it took Bellinger to get to his sixth career multihomer game, a feat he achieved in Sunday's win over the Rockies. You might not be surprised to learn this is the fastest in history. According to @aceofspaeder on Twitter, Mark McGwire is second at 97, Yasmany Tomas took 212 games, Reggie Jackson took 239 and Ryan Howard rounds out the top five at 240. No player other than Bellinger has more than three multihomer games in his first 57 games. And for the sake of comparison, the Dodgers' Monday opponent -- the Angels -- have just three multihomer games from any of its players this year (none by Michael Trout or Jose Pujols, for the record).
24: OK, one more Bellinger note. This is his home run total, despite spending the first three weeks of the season at Triple-A. This is the most by an NL rookie in the first half since the All-Star Game debuted in 1933.
4: The number of Dodgers hitters with an OPS mark of at least 1.200 dating back to June 7 -- Bellinger (1.342), Justin Turner (1.265), Joc Pederson (1.247) and Corey Seager (1.244). Only 13 guys across the Majors have an OPS that outlandish (minimum 20 at-bats) during this period, and no other club has more than two. Lineups get hot, hitting is contagious, etc., etc., etc. But still, this is pretty nuts.
52-to-1: Kenley Jansen's incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio. Until Sunday, we couldn't even calculate this ratio, because he had yet to issue a walk. And doesn't it just figure that on the day he finally surrendered his first free pass, Jansen counteracted it with a clutch double? So now Jansen has as many RBI and extra-base hits earned as he does walks allowed, and that's a pretty good ratio, too. The next-best strikeout-to-walk ratio among pitchers with at least 20 innings this season is Noah Syndergaard's 16:1 mark.
3.48: The average number of runs allowed per game by the Dodgers this season -- the best such mark in the Majors by 0.35 (the division-rival D-backs rank second).
13-1: The Dodger's record since Turner returned from the DL He's hitting .393 for the season and just needs more at-bats to sit atop the leaderboard. He's the unsung hero on this team.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.