Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? After a rather pedestrian stretch of games where they lost 3 of 5 to the Giants and Padres, the Dodgers came out with some fire these past two nights. And as great as a 6-0 shutout against a stubborn Friars team is, it wasn’t nearly as much fun to watch as last night’s home run derby.
Now obviously, the Dodgers aren’t going to hit 6 home runs ever night and Mookie won’t hit 3 by himself often either (even if he has done it more than everyone besides 2 other players). But still, the formula for consistent results was there all night: a lineup where Mookie Betts and Corey Seager bat 1 and 2.
Get the Hot Bats More Reps
Dave Roberts has made it clear that he doesn’t believe one batter makes or breaks a lineup, but seriously. What argument can be made about getting your best hitters more at-bats? There’s a saying that tries to nix this kind of thinking, stating that your leadoff hitter only leads off once per game, but that fails to acknowledge that whoever is in that 1 spot is the first player to get an extra at-bat late in a game. And looking at this Dodgers team this far into the season, who would you rather have up there late than Mookie Betts?
Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken
Last night, Betts and Seager combined to go 5-8 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI, but this would just make it recency bias, right?
Taking a look at their career numbers, Mookie Betts has hit .304 for his career out of the leadoff spot while Corey Seager has hit .295 out of the 2 spot. These numbers are no fluke either, as they come via more than 3,700 plate appearances combined. And as much as analytics may not understand it, there is something to players having a routine and preference for where they hit. The Dodgers have two hitters that thrive at the top of the lineup, now they simply have to leave them there to do what they do best.
It’s clear to anyone that the LA offense has been boom or bust up to this point in the season, but perhaps some consistency in the lineup would lead to some consistency in the box score.
Analytics has been a huge part of the Dodgers’ success in recent years, but it has also been a part of their struggles. It’s time for Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman to stop overthinking things and allow their guys to do what they do best.