How the Los Angeles Dodgers stack up against MLB’s greatest teams

Sep 22, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates with first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) and second baseman Gavin Lux (9) after hitting a walk-off single against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 22, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates with first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) and second baseman Gavin Lux (9) after hitting a walk-off single against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bret Boone, second baseman of the 2001 Mariners. DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bret Boone, second baseman of the 2001 Mariners. DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

dWAR (normalized)

The dWAR figures are normalized by the same process of calculating the standard deviation of each team’s dWAR against the seasonal average of all teams in the league. That should smooth out some of the anomalies that would otherwise arise when comparing the fielding skill of teams from the first decade of the 20th century against modern clubs.

In dWAR, the Mariners again emerge as No. 1. That team produced an extraordinary +10.2 dWAR led by such defensive stalwarts as third baseman David Bell (+2.3) and shortstop Carlos Guillen (+1.7) Defensively, the Mariners outperformed the AL average of -0.03 dWAR by 2.26 standard deviations.

Led by shortstop Joe Tinker (+3.6 dWAR in 1906) and second baseman Johnny Evers (+3.3 in 1907), the two Cubs entries amassed dWAR scores of 10.2 and 10.7, respectively. But in the more perilous early days of fielding, those numbers were only 2.13 and 2.22 standard deviations better than their league averages, leaving the Cubs entries slightly behind the 2001 Mariners in ordinal placement.

By all-time standards the Dodgers are defensively ordinary. Their total-to-date of +.03 dWAR is just 1.03 standard deviations better than the 2022 National League average

Here is the full list.

1              2001 Seattle Mariners                    2.26

2              1907 Chicago Cubs                           2.22

3              1906 Chicago Cubs                           2.13

4              1931 Philadelphia Athletics           1.71

5              1939 New York Yankees                 1.69

6              1909 Pittsburgh Pirates                  1.37

7              1902 Pittsburgh Pirates                  1.36

8              1927 New York Yankees                  1.28

9              2022 Los Angeles Dodgers             1.03

10           1954 Cleveland Indians                    0.73

11           1998 New York Yankees                   0.43

Through two categories, the 2001 Mariners — leading in both oWAR and dWAR — have a perfect ordinal average of 1.0. The 2022 Dodgers are at 8.0 and well back in the pack of great teams. Both, however, are about to change drastically.