The Dodgers. The Giants.

In the western-most division of the National league, two teams are fighting it out for the postseason. Those teams, which I alluded to in the title, are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. According to Baseball Prospectus, as of today, the Dodgers have a 33.5% chance of winning the division, while the Giants have a 55.8% chance, despite the Giants having only a half-game lead as I write this. Both teams have had struggles. The Giants just lost noted-internet-savvy-calcium-connoisseur Melky Cabrera for the rest of the regular season, resulting in the less-good Gregor Blanco taking his place. Meanwhile, the Dodgers are still playing James Loney at first base. In what follows, I will very unscientifically attempt to predict what will occur for the rest of the season using fWAR. Don’t try to follow along closely, as you will not be able to.

Here is what I have done. I have predicted who will receive the PAs and innings for each team for the rest of the season. Then, based on fWAR/PA (or fWAR/IP)to date, I have projected each team’s record at the end of the season. Again, this is isn’t scientific. It is a fun exercise. Well, it was kind of fun. If your definition is loose.

R-PA is the number of plate appearances I project each player to get for the rest of the season. R-IP is projected innings for the rest of the season. R-fWAR is the projected fWAR for the rest of the season, based on fWAR to date. Math.

Here is the Los Angeles Dodgers:

Dodgers PA fWAR R-PA R-fWAR
C AJ Ellis 376 3.2 130 1.1
1B James Loney 354 0 130 0.0
2B Mark Ellis 316 2.2 130 0.9
SS Hanley Ramirez 506 2.5 170 0.8
3B Luis Cruz 147 1.5 120 1.2
LF Shane Victorino 516 2.4 170 0.8
CF Matt Kemp 301 3.3 170 1.9
RF Andre Ethier 459 2.9 170 1.1
Bench Dee Gordon 327 -1.2 50 -0.2
Bench Juan Rivera 288 -1.1 40 -0.2
Bench Adam Kennedy 182 0.5 30 0.1
Bench Jerry Hairston 267 1.4 35 0.2
Bench Matt Treanor 105 -0.3 35 -0.1
Bench Juan Uribe 174 -0.1 15 0.0
 IP  fWAR  R-IP R-fWAR
SP1 Clayton Kershaw 178.2 4.6 55 1.4
SP2 Chad Billingsley 146.1 3.1 49 1.0
SP3 Chris Capuano 157.2 2.7 50 0.9
SP4 Joe Blanton 148.2 1.5 47 0.5
SP5 Aaron Harang 143 1.4 42 0.4
CL Kenley Jansen 55 1.4 17.4 0.4
RP1 Ronald Belisario 49 0.7 15.5 0.2
RP2 Javy Guerra 44 0.5 14.0 0.2
RP3 Jamey Wright 46.1 0.3 14.6 0.1
RP4 Randy Choate 31.1 0.7 9.9 0.2
RP5 Brandon League 49.2 0.6 15.6 0.2
RP6 Scott Elbert 30.1 0.1 9.5 0.0
13.2

Add up the fWAR, and you get 13 additional wins. I added this to the 12 wins that a replacement team would get over the last 39 games, (50/162*39) so the Dodgers will win 25 more games this season according to my method. Their current record is 67-56, so that would leave them at 92-70. The Dodgers lineup is actually fairly solid now, minus the aforementioned Loney, resulting in a predicted 7.6 fWAR to the end of the season. The pitching staff is forecasted for 5.6 fWAR.

Now the Giants.

Giants PA fWAR R-PA R-fWAR
C Buster Posey 458 5.2 160 1.8
1B Brandon Belt 346 1.2 150 0.5
2B Marco Scutaro 516 1.2 150 0.3
SS Brandon Crawford 377 1.3 130 0.4
3B Pablo Sandoval 283 1.9 150 1.0
LF Gregor Blanco 362 1.8 150 0.7
CF Angel Pagan 489 2.6 170 0.9
RF Hunter Pence 524 1.4 170 0.5
Bench Justin Christian 48 -0.4 35 -0.3
Bench Ryan Theriot 355 -0.2 60 0.0
Bench Joaquin Arias 267 0.7 60 0.2
Bench Hector Sanchez 155 0.3 35 0.1
Bench Brett Pill 106 0.1 15 0.0
IP fWAR R-IP R-fWAR
SP1 Matt Cain 167.2 3.2 55.7 1.1
SP2 Madison Bumgarner 171.2 3.6 54.8 1.2
SP3 Tim Lincecum 140.1 1.9 44.8 0.6
SP4 Ryan Vogelsong 148.2 2.5 51.5 0.9
SP5 Barry Zito 138.1 0.1 46.0 0.0
CL Sergio Romo 37.2 0.6 12.2 0.2
RP1 Javier Lopez 26.2 0.4 8.6 0.1
RP2 Santiago Casilla 43 -0.2 14.1 -0.1
RP3 George Kontos 30.1 0.3 9.9 0.1
RP4 Jose Mijares 45 0.5 14.8 0.2
RP5 Clay Hensley 44 0.1 14.4 0.0
RP6 Jeremy Affeldt 47.1 0.9 15.4 0.3
10.7

Using the same method, the Giants are projected for 10.7 wins, plus the 12.3 that a replacement level team would get (The Giants have 40 games remaining, compared to 39 for the Dodgers) resulting in 23 more wins. The Giants are currently 67-55, so they would end up with a 90-72 record – 2 games back of the Dodgers. The loss of Melky hurts, as he would project for 1.5 wins over the remainder of the season compared to the 0.4 that I have projected for Blanco and Christian – a drop of 1 win. The Giants actually fall short in both projected WAR from the lineup and pitching staff of the Dodgers, at 6.2 and 4.6 respectively.

There you have it, undeniable proof that the Dodgers will win the NL West by 2 games over the Giants. Science has spoken.

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