The bottom line for 2022

The Los Angeles Dodgers were clearly the best team in baseball in 2022, not that it did them much good in the playoffs.

The Dodgers’ superiority was evident in their 111-51 record, which featured the most victories in the majors, five more than the runner-up Houston Astros. And it was even more obvious in their combined base value of 905, which exceeded every other club’s CBV by more than 200.

Wait a second. CBV? What’s that?

It’s exactly what it sounds like, a combination of a team’s base values for its batters and pitchers, the numbers that we discussed last week.

But there’s a catch. You’ll recall that batters aim for a positive BV, while pitchers strive for a negative number. If we were to combine the marks for a strong team like the Dodgers, the two values would essentially cancel each other out, resulting in a CBV in the vicinity of zero.

That’s why the sign in front of the pitchers’ BV is reversed when CBV is calculated. Negative becomes positive, and vice versa. The result is a comparison of a club’s overall performance against big-league norms.

The Dodgers’ hitters topped the majors in 2022 with a BV of 442. Their pitchers finished second to Houston with a BV of minus-463. The CBV formula tells us to reverse the sign for the pitchers, then add the two numbers: 442 + 463 = 905.

The higher its combined base value, the higher the combined potency of a club’s run production and prevention. That’s why we can say that the Dodgers were far better than of their competitors this year.

I’ll skip the boilerplate explanation of base value. If you want to pursue the matter further, follow these links.

The Dodgers fielded a well-balanced squad this year. Their pitchers accounted for 51.2 percent of their CBV (463 of 905), while their batters chipped in the remaining 48.8 percent (442 of 905).

But the Astros, who finished second in wins and combined base value, had a distorted output. Their pitchers produced 70.0 percent of their CBV, as opposed to 30.0 percent by their hitters.

The New York Mets, who hold fifth place in the CBV standings, wrapped up the year in a perfect equiibrium, with their batters and pitchers each contributing 188 to a combined base value of 376.

The worst imbalance occurred in Detroit, where the Tigers finished with a miserable CBV of minus-468. Almost all of the team’s woes (97.4 percent) were attributable to its atrocious hitting. Here’s the breakdown for the Tigers: batting BV of minus-456, pitching BV of plus-12.

All 30 clubs are ranked below by their combined base values for 2022, with their win-loss records in parentheses. They’re placed in five groups, according to CBV rates per game.

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Excellent (CBV of 2.00 per game or better)

  • 1. Los Angeles Dodgers (111-51), CBV 905

  • 2. Houston Astros (106-56), CBV 679

  • 3. New York Yankees (99-63), CBV 674

  • 4. Atlanta Braves (101-61), CBV 538

  • 5. New York Mets (101-61), CBV 376

  • 6. St. Louis Cardinals (93-69), CBV 360

  • Notes: Four big-league clubs secured more their 100 victories in 2022, and all four landed in this elite group. The average record for these six teams was 102-60. Breakdowns indicate that the Astros relied more heavily on pitching than the other five teams did, while the Cardinals were the most dependent on hitting.

Above average (CBV of 0.75 to 1.99 per game)

  • 7. Philadelphia Phillies (87-75), CBV 244

  • 8. Toronto Blue Jays (92-70), CBV 238

  • 9. Milwaukee Brewers (86-76), CBV 199

  • 10. Cleveland Guardians (92-70), CBV 191

  • 11. Seattle Mariners (90-72), CBV 159

  • 12. Tampa Bay Rays (86-76), CBV 132

  • Notes: Five of these six teams made it to the playoffs. The only exception, the Brewers, fell short by two regular-season wins. The average record here was 89-73. Superior pitching propelled the Guardians and Rays into this group. They actually finished with subpar BVs for hitting, which they overcame with excellent pitching stats.

Average (CBV of minus-0.74 to 0.74 per game)

  • 13. San Francisco Giants (81-81), CBV 103

  • 14. San Diego Padres (89-73), CBV 98

  • 15. Minnesota Twins (78-84), CBV 6

  • 16. Los Angeles Angels (73-89), CBV -36

  • 17. Baltimore Orioles (83-79), CBV -43

  • Notes: Welcome to the neighborhood of mediocrity, with one team at .500, one slightly above, and two a bit under. It’s no surprise that the group’s average record was 81-81. The one obvious standout was San Diego, which finished with a decent 89-73 record to grab a playoff spot. The Padres’ pitching was solid, but their hitting wasn’t.

Below average (CBV of minus-1.99 to minus-0.75 per game)

  • 18. Chicago White Sox (81-81), CBV -135

  • 19. Arizona Diamondbacks (74-88), CBV -137

  • 20. Chicago Cubs (74-88), CBV -154

  • 20. Texas Rangers (68-94), CBV -154

  • 22. Boston Red Sox (78-84), CBV -156

  • 23. Miami Marlins (69-93), CBV -318

  • Notes: These clubs took different routes to the same unhappy destination. The White Sox were heavily favored in the AL Central, but stumbled to a .500 mark. They were doomed by weak hitting. The Diamondbacks and Cubs, to cite two counterexamples, suffered from inconsistent pitching. The group’s average record was 74-88.

Poor (CBV of minus-2.00 per game or worse)

  • 24. Kansas City Royals (65-97), CBV -434

  • 25. Detroit Tigers (66-96), CBV -468

  • 26. Colorado Rockies (68-94), CBV -481

  • 27. Pittsburgh Pirates (62-100), CBV -485

  • 28. Cincinnati Reds (62-100), CBV -627

  • 29. Oakland Athletics (60-102), CBV -629

  • 30. Washington Nationals (55-107), CBV -646

  • Notes: Check the records. All of these clubs came honestly to this group. They all lost at least 94 games, and four of them lost at least 100. The average record was 63-99. Each of these seven bottom dwellers failed in both aspects of the game, posting a negative BV for hitting and a positive BV for pitching.

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