The Los Angeles Dodgers are firing on all cylinders offensively, and it’s a sight to behold. Coors Field is known for it it’s offensive numbers but still—the Dodgers scored another 29 runs over the three game series.
There are some pretty crazy stats to go along with this crazy hot offense. Eric Stephen of SB Nation has a great article up now outlining a bunch of them, but this really stands out:
The Dodgers lead the majors in batting average (.309), on-base percentage (.406), slugging (.592), OPS (.998), and wOBA (.418).
While this is all really cool, the most impressive thing to me is that while in Denver, the Dodgers only hit five home runs. Most of the runs were produced by timely singles and doubles, and from every spot in the order, including a two-run single off the bat of pitcher Julio Urias. Going into Sunday night’s game, the Dodgers were batting .351 with runners in scoring position. That was unheard of last year and one their biggest downfalls.
The nightly offensive onslaughts make up for the problems with the bullpen and any mental lapses on the field (looking at you, Enrique Hernandez). The pitching will sort itself out once the starters are able to go more than five innings, and with the return of both Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. Kershaw is slated to make his second minor league start Tuesday for the Tulsa Drillers. If all goes well, he will return to the Dodgers after that for his first major league start of the season. For his part, Hill threw a bullpen on Saturday at Coors Field and called it “uneventful.” Hill is wearing a knee brace while pitching and hopes to be able to throw without it by time he returns.
The Dodgers now head into St Louis for a four game set with the Cardinals. The Red Birds are 4-5, squarely in the middle of the NL Central standings. Second baseman Kolton Wong leads the team, slashing .433/.486/.867/1.352 with three home runs and two stolen bases. Old rival Paul Goldschmidt is only batting .200 so far, but has five homers on the young season.
The Dodgers will face only right handed starters will in St. Louis. Hyun-Jin Ryu will take his 2-0 record to the mound tonight to face Miles Mikolas, who is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. He has struck out only five over 10 innings of work so far, but has also only walked three. Tomorrow’s matchup will be Ross Stripling against Dakota Hudson. In his two games so far, Hudson has only pitched five innings.
Wednesday will see Kenta Maeda face off against Jack Flaherty. The 23-year-old Flaherty has 10 strikeouts across his 9.1 innings of work. And for the matinee finale on Thursday, it will be the best pitching matchup of the series—Walker Buehler against Michael Wacha. The ace of the Cardinals staff, Wacha has stuck out 14 in his 11.1 innings pitched, and has only a 1.54 ERA.
This series will be a good test for the Dodgers, for even though they don’t have a winning record at the moment, the Cardinals are a good team looking to make strides this season. If they can minimize the damage from Wong and Goldschmidt, and the bats keep popping, they finish this road trip with a winning record before heading home to face the hot Milwaukee Brewers this weekend.