The Los Angeles Dodgers have found themselves playing postseason baseball every season over the past decade, and they made a few more appearances between their 1988 World Series Championship and the start of their run of dominance beginning in 2013.
However, those playoff runs have more often than not ended in disappointment with the only World Series title coming during the shortened 2020 season. Since the Division Series was created in 1995, the Dodgers have played in 136 postseason games, and they have won 62 of them, good for a .456 winning percentage.
But based on their Pythagorean record plus home-field advantage, they should have won 68.8 games, which gives them a differential of -6.8 wins that ranks them as the second most underperforming postseason team behind the Minnesota Twins, who have only won six of their projected 15.4 wins (-9.4).
Although the Dodgers have underperformed their expectations in October, the majority of it is from games played before president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman took over prior to the 2015 season. Under Friedman’s tenure, the Dodgers have won 47 playoff games with an expectation of 47.9 wins.
The New York Yankees have over performed the most, winning 13.9 more games than their expected total of 105.1, while the San Francisco Giants (+7.7) and Kansas City Royals (+7.6) rank as the second and third teams on the list.
Pythagorean record comes from a formula developed by The godfather of sabermetrics, Bill James, with the attempt to determine the number of games that a team should have won based on its total number of runs scored against the number of runs allowed. It is generally considered a better indicator of future performance than a team’s actual winning percentage.
Additionally, the Dodgers also underperformed their Pythagorean record during their historic 2022 regular season by a -5 differential. Although they won 111 games, which placed them fourth all-time for wins in a single season, their expected victory total of 116 would have tied the MLB single-season wins record.
Under Friedman, the Dodgers have underperformed their Pythagorean winning percentage in four of the eight seasons, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
A high Pythagorean win percentage is the mark of a good team, and the Dodgers are consistently rated highly by it, which is why it becomes harder to keep up with those expectations because winning a baseball game is hard even for elite teams.
Andrew Friedman understands frustration from Dodgers fans
After a heartbreaking loss in the National League Division Series to the San Diego Padres, many Dodgers fans wanted manager Dave Roberts to be fired, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes criticism of the skipper was unfair.
Although Friedman defended the Dodgers manager, he also acknowledged the fans who want significant changes to be made in the organization following another disappointing postseason. “The passion that they have is shared,” Friedman said.
“The expectations that they have, are shared. The disappointment that we all feel, is shared. I think it’s just the way I personally see the world, is for everyone you work with that pours themself into this, also feel that same way. It’s us collectively trying to learn what we can from what has happened and putting ourselves in the best position to avoid it going forward.”
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