Thanks to SoSG reader Wicks for forwarding this column by Dave Krieger of the Denver Post*. Krieger compares the Rockies and Dodgers at ten positions (position players, starters and relievers) and gives the Rockies the definitive edge in five of those categories, with the Dodgers only taking two (he called three categories pushes). Here's his breakdown:
- 1B (Helton vs. Loney): Rockies
- 2B (Barmes vs. Belliard): Rockies
- 3B (Stewart vs. Blake): push
- SS (Tulowitzki vs. Furcal): Rockies
- LF (Gonzalez vs. Ramirez): Rockies
- CF (Fowler vs. Kemp): Dodgers
- RF (Hawpe vs. Ethier): Dodgers
- C (Iannetta vs. Martin): push
- SP (Jimenez, Cook, Francis, De La Rosa, Hammel vs. Kershaw, Billingsley, Kuroda, Padilla, McDonald): Rockies
- RP: push
Kreiger admits he had to make assumptions about Belliard and McDonald winning starting jobs, but we can still see this is a highly debatable list. ("I darn near died laughing after reading this," as Wicks put it.) Arguments can be made for the Dodgers at 1B, 3B and LF, and while the Dodgers' rotation is clearly weaker without Randy Wolf, the Rockies' starting five isn't an automatic lock either.
But I'm too busy debating EK about the Kia Crew vs. the Kia Soul Hamsters to delve into this further — so we're going to throw it to you, SoSG readers. Post your analysis, for one position or all of them, in the comments section and we'll update this post with the most convincing arguments.
UPDATE: From Wicks himself:
All right fellow SOSG fans to back my opinion that this Denver Post article is off base I did some dirty work. Below is a head to head comparison of the everyday Dodger players versus Rockies players using the statistic of Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP)for 2009. For more about the Warp go here:
I did not compare the pitching staffs because ERA says it all. 3.41 is lower than 4.22 last I checked.
Helton 3.7 Loney 1.5 ADV ROX
Barmes 1.8 Belliard 1.0 ADV ROX
Tulo 5.4 Furcal 3.3 ADV ROX
Stewart 1.2 Blake 4.2 ADV LAD
Iantetta 2.0 Martin 2.1 ADV LAD
Gonzalez 2.4 Manny 2.8 ADV LAD
Fowler 0.7 Kemp 5.0 ADV LAD
Hawpe 1.3 Ethier 2.5 ADV LAD
Final Total Dodgers win 5-3
And from Jason:
1B - Helton and Loney are inching closer than you'd expect. Helton still hits more doubles and draws more walks but Loney still has all of the disks in his back. Both are probably going to hit 15 - 20 home runs (though I imagine their home/road splits will be mirror opposites). Defense is basically a wash. Loney has more speed so he won't be clogging the base paths though neither is a particular threat to steal. And of course, Loney is more likely to trend upwards and show an improvement over 2009 what with him turning 26 in May.
Advantage Rockies by about 1 win until Helton's back gives out and Giambi steps into full time duty and literally cements himself 3 feet off the first base bag.
3B - Wicks has it right, Blake is just better. He's a better fielder, he's got better plate discipline, he can grow a beard... Stewart has better isolated power numbers and hits a heck of a lot more fly balls. That plays fine at Coors Field but not so much in the rest of the NL West parks.
Advantage Dodgers by about 1.5 wins assuming Blake goes beardless. Add an additional win if Beard Mode returns.
C - Would be roughly equal assuming J. Martin doesn't drop the J and have a comeback year. But, Iannetta only plays in about 2/3 of the games over the course of the season so you have to factor in Miguel Olivo and his career .276 OBP into the mix.
Slight advantage to the Dodgers.
LF - Come on, Carlos Gonzalez has all of 174 games of experience. And Manny's wrist hasn't been hit by any pitches in 7 months. Manny will produce a net of about 17 more runs over the course of the season even when taking fielding into account. Plus it's a contract year. Advantage Dodgers by about 1.5 wins.
Projected FIPs for the starting 5 from Bill James:
Kershaw - 3.42
Billingsley - 3.72
Kuroda - 4.24
Padilla - 4.68
McDonald - 4.22
Jimenez - 4.03
Cook - 4.32
Francis - 4.41
De La Rosa - 4.37
Hammel - 4.11
That sounds about right.
RP - I'll let WARP and FIP cover this. I'm intentionally excluding swing men and long relievers since their numbers fluctuate way too much to predict. I'm sort of guessing at the Rockies bullpen pecking order behind Street.
Pitcher - WARP - FIP
Broxton - 2.9 - 2.38
Sherrill - 1.4 - 3.31
Kuo - 0.4 - 2.95
Troncoso - 0.8 - 3.54
Belisario - 0.7 - 4.20
Street - 1.8 - 2.97
Morales - 0.5 - 5.10
Daley - 0.7 - 3.98
Betancourt - 1.4 - 3.20
Corpas - 0.4 - 3.41
Advantage Dodgers by a couple of wins overall. In Broxton and Breezy I trust.
To sum up, Dodgers come out on top 6-3-1 (C being too close to call). The Dodgers should be about 3 - 4 wins better than Colorado in 2010 based purely on individual expectations. Take coaching staffs and experience into account and I think the Dodgers pick up one or two more games. I'll still feel better once the #5 started and 2B "battles" are settled in a few weeks.