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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Babe Ruth circa 1927.  Allsport Hulton/Archive
Babe Ruth circa 1927.  Allsport Hulton/Archive /

OPS+

Since OPS+ is already normalized for season-to-season conditions, we need no adjustment beyond looking at each team’s average figure.

Not surprisingly, the top of the list is dominated by the Murderer’s Row 1927 Yankees. That club achieved a 127 team OPS+, meaning that the average performance of all team members was 27 percent above that season’s AL average.

A glance at the player data explains why. In his 60-home run season, Babe Ruth had a +225 OPS+. Lou Gehrig wasn’t far behind at 220. Leadoff hitter Earle Combs measured 141, and five Yankee regulars topped 125.

Four other great teams topped a 115 team average OPS+, those being the 1902 Pirates (119), the 2001 Mariners (117), the 1998 Yankees (116), and the 2022 Dodgers (115).

Here’s the full list.

1              1927 New York Yankees                 127

2              1902 Pittsburgh Pirates                 119

3              2001 Seattle Mariners                    117

4              1998 New York Yankees                 116

5              2022 Los Angeles Dodgers            115

6              1939 New York Yankees                 111

7              1909 Pittsburgh Pirates                 107

8              1906 Chicago Cubs                          103

9              1931 Philadelphia Athletics           102

9              1954 Cleveland Indians                   102

11           1907 Chicago Cubs                              92

As odd as it sounds, one team actually achieved a .700 winning percentage despite an offense that (based on OPS+) was 8 percent below average in its league. As we’ll see when we look at ERA+ and run differential, the 1907 Cubs had other ways to win games, so they did not rely on power, even by the standards of their time.

Because I know you are wondering, three-fifths of the way through this five-part test, the 2001 Mariners continue to lead, although their average ordinal score has fallen to 1.67. The 1927 Yankees, at 3.67, are second, followed by the 1902 Pirates (4.33) and the 1939 Yankees (4.67).