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.
|Scott Van Slyke||Dodgers||26||27||0.8|
|Dane De La Rosa||Angels||30||38/0||0.5|