Full Updated Breakdown of Dodgers-Giants Race with Beckett, Gonzalez in L.A.
In what can really only be categorized as a franchise-changing trade for both teams, there are clear short-term and long-term winners as well as residual effects that will be immediately felt in regards to the NL West race.
The Red Sox have managed to shed some $250 or so million from their books while the Dodgers were able to obtain the first baseman they've been longing for in Adrian Gonzalez.
In the short term, the Dodgers will only be benefiting from the addition of Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and in some small measure Nick Punto while Carl Crawford recovers from his Tommy John surgery.
The impact that Gonzalez and Beckett can have on the Dodgers is actually quite tremendous. This was a move that should leave the San Francisco Giants uncomfortable.
Sure, the Giants own a 71-55 record while the Dodgers are 68-58. Both teams have 36 games to be played, six of which coming against one another. Three in San Francisco from September 7 through September 9.
The final three, fittingly enough, are the last three games of the regular season for both clubs from October 1 through October 3.
According to CoolStandings.com, as of today the Giants have a 75.5 percent chance of making the playoffs with a 69 percent chance of winning the division. The Dodgers have a 22.9 percent chance of overtaking the division with a 33.6 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Something tells me the math is about to change drastically.
Looking specifically at the Dodgers' schedule, they have two games left against Miami, six against Colorado, six against Arizona, six against San Diego, six against San Francisco, four against St. Louis, three against Washington and three against Cincinnati.
From the outside, that is not the easiest of roads to take to the postseason.
The Adrian Gonzalez Factor
The Dodgers were in need of an upgrade at first base to help boost the offense. This season, James Loney has shown pretty serious decline in production. He owns a .254/.302/.344/.646 batting line with just 85 hits, 18 doubles four home runs and 33 RBI.
Conversely, Gonzalez looks like Superman in comparison. He has a .300/.343/.469/.812 batting line with 37 doubles, 15 home runs and 86 RBI.
More so, Gonzalez is a four-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner and owns a Silver Slugger Award. In 2011 he led the American League in hits with 213.
Loney has exactly zero All-Star bids, zero Gold Gloves and zero Sliver Slugger Awards.
Historically against the teams left on the Dodgers schedule, Gonzo owns a .321/.397/.520/.917 batting line. Loney owns a .296/.355/.436/.790 batting line.
Digging a bit deeper, the addition of Gonzo is a targeted attack on the Giants, whereby the margin of performance is much greater than Loney's.
Just straight up, head-to-head with the Giants, Gonzo has a .285/.367/.469/.836 batting line versus Loney's .236/.308/.362/.670 line. When playing in AT&T park, Gonzo's numbers remain consistently good at .297//.371/.462/.832 to Loney's .240/.313/.418/.731.
This upgrade is substantial, both offensively and defensively.
The Josh Beckett Factor
Say what you will about Josh Beckett, but he has been an extremely important piece of not one, but two World Series championship teams. He's still Josh Beckett.
The Dodgers have been extremely fortunate in regards to their pitching staff this season, and the addition of Beckett will only solidify that rotation for the playoffs.
Yes, this season has not been kind to Beckett. The fans in Boston have been brutal, placing a large amount of blame on him for being a negative influence in the clubhouse, let alone his under-performance this season.
He is just 5-11 in 21 starts with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.327 WHIP. Dodger fans might look at those numbers and scoff, wondering how exactly that can benefit the team.
Lest we forget the 2011 version of Beckett? The one that went 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP? He is a three-time All-Star and the 2007 AL Cy Young Award runner-up as well.
Yes, he's lost a little bit off of his fastball, now hitting the lower 90s as opposed to the mid-to-upper 90s of a couple seasons ago. Facing the weaker lineups in the NL should actually benefit him in that regard.
Furthermore, he owns a winning record against the eight teams the Dodgers have games remaining against. In 51 starts, he's 24-16 with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. The Reds have historically owned him, which drives up those stats significantly.
Without his three games facing the Reds, his era drops to 3.84 with a 1.03 WHIP. Lesson: don't let him pitch in the Reds series!
Beyond that, he also owns a 4-3 record against the Giants with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in seven starts. At AT&T park he is 2-1 in three games with a 2.70 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP.
Does that make Dodger fans feel a little bit better? It certainly should.
The addition of these two All-Stars to the already star-studded Dodger lineup is going to pay huge dividends for the Dodgers. It allows for Gonzo and Beckett to get a clean slate on a winning team, hungry for the playoffs.
In this game of chess going on in the National League West, it would appear to be the Giants move, or did the Dodgers just call checkmate?
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?