Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you. The Dodgers scored 4.32 runs per game in the regular season, well below average. But there are a few problems with looking at that figure. First, the Dodgers are not the same team today that they were in April. Second, backups and scrubs are far less likely to see playing time in the postseason. Last, and most importantly, we can’t look at a team’s performance record and assume that they’ll continue to perform the same. So, we have to figure out which players are on the roster, which ones are likely to play, and what the true talent of those players are going forward.
I did just that, here’s what I came up with:
A Dodger lineup consisting of Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Casey Blake, Blake Dewitt, and some random pitcher will score something like 5.18 runs per game. That figure is the result of current Marcel projections for each those players, assuming an average-hitting pitcher for two plate appearances, and a league-average pinch-hitter for two more.
As for the other NL playoff teams:
Cubs: Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, Jim Edmonds, Mike Fontenot, Kosuke Fukudome, and a pitcher will score around 5.12 runs per game. If Mark DeRosa gets back in the lineup at Fukudome’s expense, that figure will jump to 5.20.
Brewers: Mike Cameron, Ray Durham, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart, Bill Hall, Jason Kendall, and a pitcher will score around 4.83 runs per game, by far the worst among NL playoff contenders. Luckily for them, they’ve got CC Sabathia pitching pretty much every game!
Feel free to quibble with the lineups if I missed an obvious injury or managerial tendency. Any interest in seeing the AL?