Red-Hot L.A. Baseball Teams on 22-5 Run

Both Los Angeles teams teams seemed doomed at 12-games below .500 a couple of weeks ago. The Angels seemed unable to overcome the starts lost when Jered Weaver's arm was fractured by a line drive April 7 (pictured), while the Dodgers were paying over $47 million to three players who have still produced zero wins according to WAR (Matt Kemp, Josh Beckett and Ted Lilly). The salaries and values of the players who have produced wins on both teams are listed below.

On Sunday, Weaver dominated for the Angels and Clayton Kershaw remained the best pitcher in baseball to lower his ERA to 1.89, as the two teams have combined for a 22-5 mark since each was 12 games below .500.

Both teams are still not quite up to .500 despite being perhaps the two hottest teams in the league. Making the playoffs will be tougher for the Angels because they are chasing two of the best teams in baseball - the A's and Rangers - in their own division. Albert Pujols has produced only 0.8 wins on his $16 million contract, but Mike Trout is on pace for another run at the MVP award with 3.7 wins for the tiny $510,000 he is making at the age of 21. A player who has a WAR of 8 by the end of the year is typically an MVP-level player, while a 5.0 for the entire year is a typical All-Star.

Thanks to playing in a weak division, the playoffs are a very real possibility for the Dodgers. Kershaw is actually the best player in Los Angeles according to WAR, earning every bit of his $11 million with a WAR of 4.9 for hit pitching, and he and the Dodgers' No. 2 pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu have WARs of 0.3 for batting based on hitting better than the average pitcher. Kershaw even had to win a 1-0 game with a home run of his own to start the season. With his best-in-baseball 4.9 WAR for pitching, his 5.2 puts him on pace for not only a Cy Young Award, but a potential MVP.

However, the real potential for the Dodgers would be steady play from Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez the rest of the year. Both were batting over .400 going into the weekend, as Ramirez returns from injury and Puig continues to explode in his first month in the majors. The two were worth 2.4 and 1.9 wins in only 31 games, meaning each was on pace for a strong All-Star season if they played enough games.

The Dodgers also have the opportunity to build on their current 12-3 streak as they go into Arizona Monday for a three-game series against the team that leads them by 4 1/2 games.

LA Player Team Age G WAR Salary
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 25 18/18 4.9 $11,000,000
Mike Trout Angels 21 86 3.7 $510,000
Howie Kendrick Angels 29 86 2.9 $8,750,000
Hyun-jin Ryu Dodgers 26 17/17 2.6 $3,333,000
Yasiel Puig Dodgers 22 31 2.4  
A.J. Ellis Dodgers 32 57 2.2 $2,000,000
Hanley Ramirez Dodgers 29 31 1.9 $15,500,000
Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 31 83 1.9 $21,000,000
Jason Vargas Angels 30 14/14 1.8 $8,500,000
Mark Trumbo Angels 27 87 1.7 $540,000
Chris Iannetta Angels 30 67 1.4 $5,050,000
Peter Bourjos Angels 26 40 1.3  
Nick Punto Dodgers 35 68 1.2 $1,500,000
C.J. Wilson Angels 32 18/18 1.2 $11,000,000
Scott Downs Angels 37 36/0 1.1 $5,000,000
Kenley Jansen Dodgers 25 42/0 1.1 $512,000
Carl Crawford Dodgers 31 53 1.1 $20,000,000
Jered Weaver Angels 30 9/9 1.0 $16,000,000
Juan Uribe Dodgers 33 64 0.9 $8,000,000
Hank Conger Angels 25 42 0.9 $495,000
Stephen Fife Dodgers 26 8/8 0.8  
Scott Van Slyke Dodgers 26 27 0.8  
Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 22 42/0 0.8 $491,500
J.P. Howell Dodgers 30 35/0 0.8 $2,850,000
Ernesto Frieri Angels 27 37/0 0.8  
Andre Ethier Dodgers 31 83 0.8 $13,500,000
Albert Pujols Angels 33 85 0.8 $16,000,000
Michael Kohn Angels 27 30/0 0.7  
Sean Burnett Angels 30 13/0 0.6  
Mark Ellis Dodgers 36 60 0.6 $5,250,000
Jerome Williams Angels 31 22/11 0.6 $2,000,000
Dane De La Rosa Angels 30 38/0 0.5  
J.B. Shuck Angels 26 62 0.4  
Zack Greinke Dodgers 29 12/12 0.3 $19,000,000
Chad Billingsley Dodgers 28 2/2 0.3 $11,000,000
Billy Buckner Angels 29 5/2 0.3  
Erick Aybar Angels 29 65 0.2 $8,500,000
Skip Schumaker Dodgers 33 2/0 0.1 $1,500,000
Ramon Hernandez Dodgers 37 17 0.1 $3,200,000
Josh Hamilton Angels 32 83 0.1 $17,000,000
Jerry Hairston Dodgers 37 47 0.1 $3,750,000
Collin Cowgill Angels 27 3 0.1

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