The Dodgers offense, as a whole, has been pretty good so far this year. As a team, the Dodgers are third in the MLB in homers, second in RBI and runs, fourth in OPS and fifth in hits.
But that does not mean that everyone on the team is contributing equally. Cody Bellinger, of course, is having an outstanding year, leading all of MLB, in batting average, slugging, OPS, and hits, and tied for first in runs. He’s second in home runs and RBI. Joc Pederson is tied for third in MLB with 10 homers. Rookie Alex Verdugo has been hot, amassing a .346 batting average and a 1.005 OPS.
But there are some players still not quite producing as they should. Justin Turner has yet to hit a home run. A.J. Pollock has a .239 batting average, but yet somehow is hitting .300 with RISP. I guess it’s good to save those hits for when there’s men on base. Max Muncy leads the team in strikeouts.
But the most worrisome member of the Dodgers roster is Chris Taylor. The 2017 NLCS Co-MVP is struggling mightily at the plate. While incredibly versatile in the field, his .161/.254/.250/.504 slash line is abysmal. He has twice as many strikeouts as he does hits.
So one wonders, how long do you give Taylor to figure it out at the plate again? He most likely will not ever return to his 2017 season, when he hit .288 with 21 home runs and, as mentioned, earned an NLCS MVP award. Even last year’s stats of .254, 17 homers and 4.1 WAR would be acceptable.
When firing on all cylinders, this offense is stacked. They don’t necessarily need Taylor to be at his 2017 level. But they need at least something out of him. 22 runners have been stranded by his at bats, compared to his five RBI (one of those being himself from a home run).
Dave Roberts has always given his batters ample amount of time to figure things out, even if it may to the detriment of the team. Last night, Taylor was in the lineup against Jose Quintana, presumably because he was 5-for-9 lifetime against him. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but didn’t manage to get an RBI.
Lefty/righty matchups aside, Verdugo’s hot bat was left on the bench while Taylor tries to get things going. Verdugo’s arm is a whole lot stronger in left field, also. CT3 needs to figure out something fast or he will find much reduced playing time.
First pitch is 5:05 PST.