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

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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.

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6 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: Comparing the 2018 Offense to the 2017 Postseason Version

  1. Dozier has started to swing the bat much better in the last two or three games, even though he may not have a lot of hits to show for it. I predict he’ll be an important part of the lineup from now until the end of the year no matter where he winds up hitting.

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  2. Last year’s team finished with home field throughout the playoffs and secured that position with a few days to spare. This year’s team may not have home field at all. That says a lot and is the biggest difference to me. As of today no team looks like world beaters so as long as we don’t screw around and piss away games we should win, which is all 8 we have left, we should be fine in the NL playoffs. I don’t want to start in Atlanta, sowhat say we take these last games seriously.

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    1. I don’t see how the oddsmakers can even begin to come up with odds for this team on any one game. They beat the good teams, then lose to the bad ones. They score 10+ runs one night and get shut out the next. The really good teams are consistent. That is not an adjective which can be applied to the 2018 Dodgers.

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      1. I don’t know how many times they were not favored this year, but it couldn’t have been very many. Every time I looked they were. How can you bet against them? Maybe in Chicago, but we have better players than everybody else.

        I wonder if someone is slipping Ambien into Machado’s decaf? The guy always looks sleepy. It’s fun to project what this team would look like if he actually put up Bal’more numbers. Not likely in LA, but he could get hot for a couple of weeks – right? Please, somebody tell me he could, it will help me get through the day.

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      2. Having better players than the other team only counts if we play up to our capabilities. Yes, Manny could definitely get hot and carry us all the way through the playoffs. Yes, he could continue to play the way he has for us and not make any huge difference. Time will tell. Has anyone else noticed that JT has not been his usual gold glove self for the past week or so. Not sure if he’s tired or hurting, but it just ain’t the same stellar JT defense. Hopefully just an aberration that will disappear quickly. If we actually make it to the playoffs, I think we stand a decent chance of making a good run since apparently the Reds, Mets and Padres will not be in the playoffs.

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