The Dodgers are in the postseason for the 10th consecutive season, a nearly unprecedented run of regular season success that few teams in history can match.
They pulled away from the second place San Diego Padres and coasted to their ninth division title in 10 years, clinching in early September.
But even that undersells just how good the 2022 Dodgers season was when put in a historical context.
How Good Were The 2022 Dodgers?
Here’s a run down of some of the more incredible statistics from what the Dodgers were able to accomplish this year:
- Most wins of any National League team since the Live-Ball Era Started in 1920
- One of just seven teams in MLB history to win at least 110 games, and just the third since 1954
- The first team in history to follow a 106 win season with more wins the following season
- Just the 10th team in history to have a run differential better than +300, and the first since the 2001 Seattle Mariners
- Their final run differential of +334 is the best since the 1939 Yankees team that featured Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing
- Set the record for most wins in a 1,000 game span since the expansion era in 1961
The teams they’ve matched were some of the most famous groups in MLB history; the 1906 Cubs also won more than 110 games, for example, and were known for the Tinkers to Evers to Chance infield combination.
The 1909 Pirates won 110 and featured inaugural Hall of Famer Honus Wagner. The 1927 Yankees also won 110 games and were known for their Murderer’s Row lineup with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who combined for 107 home runs.
The Dodgers accomplished all this despite missing top starter Walker Buehler for most of the season as well as one of their most important relievers, Blake Treinen.
Mookie Betts missed time earlier in this season, as did second baseman Gavin Lux. Starter Tony Gonsolin has been out for much of the last month and a half, and Clayton Kershaw was only able to make 22 starts.
None of it mattered; the Dodgers still won 111 games and lead the league in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
They also took their foot off the gas pedal towards the end of the season, once it was clear they’d wrapped up every possible home field advantage.
But will any of these remarkable statistics matter if they don’t win the World Series?
It Has To Matter
The MLB postseason is almost entirely random. The gap between baseball teams is the smallest of any of the major professional leagues, and it’s even smaller in the playoffs.
Those historic Yankees teams that seemingly won the World Series every year only had to win one postseason series. The 2022 Dodgers will have to win three.
Not to mention there’s a distinct possibility the Dodgers will have to win three consecutive series against 100-win teams in order to bring a title back to Los Angeles.
No matter how good a team is, there’s no possible way to guarantee a title. Elite teams often lose a series to bad teams; the Mets lost their division in part because they were swept by the Cubs at home in September.
All that being said, winning a World Series still carries more weight than being historically good. It’s important to enjoy the regular season success, but to truly be considered a dynasty the Dodgers need to win another title.
The Dodgers had a remarkably good 2022, winning 111 out of 162 games. Now they just need to win 11 more.