October 22, 2014

Diamondbacks Take First Place in NL West, Sky Doesn’t Fall

I am glad the rapture was scheduled for last weekend, because I would be much more worried if it were still forthcoming given the Diamondbacks current position in first place in the NL West. While this accomplishment doesn’t exactly spell out the end of days, it is surprising given their middling start and long absence from the position (they last graced sole ownership of first place back in September of 2008).

The D-backs have currently won 6 in a row and 9 out of their last 10 games. They are 14-2 since May 14.

    Take a look at the striking difference between the turnaround the Diamondbacks have delivered

(as evidenced by the number and margin of their victories) since the beginning of the season:

Diamondbacks Game Results (source: baseball-reference.com)

    Now, contrast that with the same data for the Dodgers

:

Dodgers game stats (source: baseball-reference.com)

I am no statistician, but the D-backs clearly have a strong trend going while the Dodgers have had a few peaks during specific series this season (ATL/CHC in April, PIT in May).

In fact, the D-backs performance is even more impressive when you note that 6 of the 8 losses the team has suffered since May 5 were by only one run each.

Can we clone Kershaw and get him active for every start? If not, the Dodgers likely have a long road ahead of them if they are going to snap their mediocre performance to-date.