December 15, 2012

"Moneyball" Takes on a Whole New Meaning in the City of Los Angeles

By - Jaquan Murphy

Moneyball. Created on the west coast by Oakland general manager Billy Beane as a way to build the best team possible for the best value. It worked for the A's in 2002, as they set an American League record by winning 20-straight games at one point, and went on to win 103 total for the season.

That is only the way to go in Northern California.

But in Southern Cal, they have a completely different definition for the term "moneyball." Their definition is to just outspend the opposition in hopes you can field the best possible team that money can buy.

Safe to say the Angels and Dodgers are winning with that method.

Photo by: Kevork Djansezian
The end result of this 2-year game is two clubs that are probably stronger than most people's fantasy baseball teams. Simply put, the two Los Angeles squads are currently in a war to become the best team in Hollywood.

On paper, this matchup looks spectacular. What manager wouldn't love to have a lineup with Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, and Mike Trumbo smack in the middle of it? Or for that matter, what skipper wouldn't be thrilled to have Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez in the heart of their order?

It goes without saying that both teams have lineups that will make opposing pitching staffs lose sleep, and there is no question that both clubs will be at or near the top in total runs scored and home runs. And seeing as how neither team will struggle to light up the scoreboard, the one that will have the most success will be the one that can keep runs off it.

Right now, that team looks to be the Dodgers.

With a returning trio of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Beckett, the Dodgers hold the upper hand with the arms. To add on to that three-headed monster, they acquired former Cy Young winner, Zach Greinke, and imported phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu. Last season, the team ranked 3rd in ERA and batting average against, 6th in quality starts, and 8th in WHIP. With the two new additions and a whole season of Beckett, the Dodgers will certainly remain a top pitching staff; if not the best pitching staff, in all of baseball.

The one place where the Angels may be stronger than the Dodgers is in the dugout. With Mike Scioscia as their manager, the Angels will be expected to be fundamentally sound and do all the little things right, no matter how much each player is getting paid. Even with a lineup full of sluggers, they will still be a team that will hit and run, steal bases, and even execute a few suicide squeezes.

As we are in the holiday season, both organizations are doing a great job giving their fans a wonderful gift; quality teams to watch on the field. But in this cross-town battle for supremacy, who is ultimately winning?

That answer is the Dodgers.

Year in and year out, pitching wins championships, and the Dodgers have the more solid pitching staff from top to bottom. Both teams have very lethal lineups, but when it comes down to the ability to shut down the opposition's big bats, the Dodgers are more equipped to do so. Factor in that the National League appears to be weaker than the American League, that points to the Dodgers winning more games.

Regardless, both teams will provide a lot of exciting action in the coming season, and 2013 will undoubtedly be a memorable year for baseball in the city of Los Angeles.


  1. I would say the Dodgers are better, but the Angels definitely closed the gap by signing Hamilton.

  2. Only thing the Angels beat the Dodgers at are number of back stabbing traders on their roster.

  3. haha no joke, what happened to staying true to team. see what the miami heat started