Dodgers Roster: Comparing the 2018 Offense to the 2017 Postseason Version

The Dodgers have to feel pretty good heading into their final regular season series at home. They will be facing the San Diego Padres, against whom they’ve won 12 of the 16 contests they’ve played so far this season.

As Los Angeles is only sitting 2.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies for the division lead, they cannot afford to relax and assume the division is theirs. They need to take advantage of the fact they are now playing a team they have performed well against in the past, and continue that dominance.

Yesterday, Dennis took a look at what this year’s postseason rotation might look like in comparison to last year’s, and he concluded that the Boys in Blue are probably better off this year in that regard. So how about the offense?

The Dodgers started their 2017 postseason campaign with this lineup:

  • Chris Taylor CF
  • Corey Seager SS
  • Justin Turner 3B
  • Cody Bellinger 1B
  • Yasiel Puig RF
  • Curtis Granderson LF
  • Yasmani Grandal C
  • Logan Forsythe 2B
  • Clayton Kershaw P

At least a third of that lineup will be different this year, with Granderson and Forsythe no longer playing for the Dodgers and Seager out with his elbow injury.

As it currently stands, and if things don’t change, it appears that the Dodgers would start their 2018 World Series campaign against the Atlanta Braves. They would most likely send right-hander Mike Foltynewicz to the mound. (In fact their rotation is right-hander heavy, but more on that if the series comes to fruition.) With that in mind, we could see a lineup something like this:

  • Joc Pederson LF
  • Justin Turner 3B
  • Manny Machado SS
  • Max Muncy 1B
  • Cody Bellinger CF
  • Brian Dozier 2B
  • Yasmani Grandal C
  • Yasiel Puig RF
  • Clayton Kershaw P

Some might argue for Puig to be higher and Dozier lower in the lineup, but I really like Puig at the bottom. He can do serious damage and no one else has a number eight hitter like him. Dozier is the weak link in the lineup right now, and I’d rather hide him in the six spot to give the lineup more length.

This lineup is stronger and more powerful than last year’s lineup. And, more importantly, the guys left on the bench are more potent, too. In the lineup above, Matt Kemp, Chris Taylor, David Freese and Kiké Hernandez are still available. Even if you switch out Kiké for Dozier in the lineup, that still gives the Dodgers a formidable advantage over the four guys Atlanta might have waiting on their bench.

But the biggest advantage the Dodgers have in their lineup, in addition to the depth, is the thing fans have been complaining most about all season- platooning and lefty/right matchups. If a guy doesn’t start, he knows he’ll most likely get into the game later on as a pinch hitter, and he’ll be ready for that opportunity because they’ve been doing that all season. They know that even if they’re on the bench even if their bat is hot, they’ll still have a good chance to be the hero of the game. Case in point, Puig in Wednesday’s game.

With the caveat of “if they stay hot,” this team will do serious damage offensively. Along with Dennis’s assessment of the starting rotation, this year ‘s Dodgers’ offense might be a little better set up for the playoffs. They also have a lot to prove after a disappointing regular season, and the bitter aftertaste of last year’s playoffs still lingering in their mouths spurring them on.

Compared to Last Year, the Dodgers’ 2018 Rotation Is Better Suited for Playoffs

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(Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

Even with nine games remaining on the regular season schedule, the Dodgers still have plenty of work to do before they begin preparing for any type of playoff appearance. Still, the club is experiencing success in just about all aspects of play right now, but lately, it’s been the starting pitching that’s been the most effective and dominant.

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Dodgers Roster: Several Key Contributors Aiming for Milestones During Stretch Run

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(Getty Images photo)

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a contentious playoff chase that is attracting the attention of the entire baseball world.

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Dodgers Prospects: Gonsolin, Lux Named Minor League Players of the Year

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(Jerry Espinoza/MiLB.com)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday named right-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin as the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year and infielder Gavin Lux as the Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year.

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Series Preview: Dodgers Face Rockies for 3 Critical Games in Los Angeles

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The Dodgers are in less of a precarious situation than they were a week ago, but they can take control of the their situation and division in their upcoming series with the Colorado Rockies beginning Monday.

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Puig, Dodgers Aim for Strong Weekend Finish Against Cardinals

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(Sports Illustrated photo)

The first part of the weekend couldn’t have gone better for the Dodgers—three straight victories over the Cardinals, coupled with two minor league championships by the Drillers and the Quakes. And to top things off, the Giants handled the Rockies in the first two contests of a three-game weekend set, allowing Los Angeles to reclaim sole possession of first place in the National League West.

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Drillers, Quakes Capture League Championships

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(Mandatory Credit: Rich Crim/Tulsa Drillers)

For those of you who didn’t stay connected to the media after the Dodgers‘ 3-0 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night, you missed even more good news as the night progressed.

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Schedules and Playoff Implications for Dodgers & Other NL Contenders

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The slog of the Dodgers‘ season continues. Los Angeles still sits 1-1/2 games behind the Colorado Rockies in the NL West, but have moved up to one game back in the Wild Card standings.

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Series Preview: Dodgers Prepare for Showdown with Cardinals in St. Louis

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(Getty Images photo)

What was once anticipated to be the most difficult leg of the current road trip has now turned into the most critical. With 16 games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Dodgers begin a four-game series against the Cardinals on Thursday evening, which could conceivably dictate the direction of both clubs in the postseason.

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Underachieving Dodgers Salvage Final Game of Cincinnati Series

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Just when you think the Dodgers are about to push themselves out of the 2018 playoff picture, they surprise you—like winning two out of three in a volatile setting like Denver. Yet on the other hand, right when you think the Boys in Blue have established momentum and might make a run at another division title, they lose two at home to the lowly Mets, then another two on the road to the cellar-dwelling Reds.

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