Should Dodgers Be Concerned About Inconsistent Offense?

LDN-L-DODGERS
(Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

After Saturday’s loss at home to the Giants, the Dodgers officially passed the one-quarter mark of the season with a 10-5 record, as they currently trail the division-leading Rockies by a full game in the National League West.

At its current pace, the team would finished with a nicely rounded 40-20 record, which may or may not be good enough to win the division. The Rockies, of all teams, have the second-best ERA (2.65) among all NL starting rotations this season, which could conceivably go a long way in determining the division champ. Coincidentally, the Dodgers are sixth in the NL with a 3.48 mark as far as starting pitching ERA goes.

The good news is this year’s postseason will feature a whopping 16 teams—eight from both leagues—leaving only the most under-achieving clubs out. However, 60 games is an absolutely crazy sample size of a normal season, and anything is bound to happen by the time the playoffs roll around in October.

There’s already been a lot of emphasis on the Los Angeles offense, as the squad’s daily lineups are often scrutinized among both pundits and the fan base. We’ve talked several times about the importance of the success at the top of the order; but the Dodgers have recently turned to Joc Pederson, who is currently hitting .216, to lead off against righty pitching.

Few thought they would see this offensive juggernaut struggle as much as it has.

Among all the position players, a whopping seven—Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes and Matt Beaty—have averages under .250. Four of those seven—Bellinger, Muncy, Barnes and Beaty—are hitting well below the Mendoza line.

Yet, heading into Sunday’s games, the Dodgers still lead the entire majors with 81 runs scored, and their +37 run differential is also the best in the bigs. Obviously, the problem is not with the offense as a whole, but rather keeping the bats consistent, which was the biggest problem the team faced against the stellar pitching of the Nationals in the 2019 NLDS.

With 45 games remaining on the regular-season schedule, some feel a steady and stable lineup—regardless of matchups—could benefit the team, but the versatility that skipper Dave Roberts has incorporated through his daily lineup cards has definitely been one of the driving forces for his team’s success in recent years.

A healthy Corey Seager makes a huge difference in the middle of the batting order, but the team’s offense has certainly been in feast or famine mode even with the 26-year-old shortstop leading the offensive charge.

Of course, there’s no reason for panic at all right now, but the thought remains about the offense slumbering during the early stages of the playoffs come October.

Although the season’s very short, there’s still plenty of time to adjust plans of attack, in addition to the maneuvering of key player personnel when appropriate.

Sunday’s lineup vs. righty Kevin Gausman:

  • Pederson LF
  • Betts RF
  • Bellinger CF
  • Turner 3B
  • Muncy 2B
  • Pollock DH
  • Beaty 1B
  • Smith C
  • Hernandez SS
  • (Buehler)

First pitch for Sunday’s series finale is slated for 1:10 p.m. Los Angeles time.

 

21 thoughts on “Should Dodgers Be Concerned About Inconsistent Offense?

  1. I think AF will wait until the last week of August, take stock on what his roster looks like (production-wise and injury -wise) and then decide whether he wants to sacrifice prospects for a quick fix. I’m hoping when he does that analysis, he doesn’t find any major problems to deal with.
    I know he might not be able to handle it salary-wise going forward after next year but I would love to see a lineup that started with Betts, Lindor and Seager. Whether that would mean Seager at third or first or Lindor at second I have no clue but that would be a fun beginning to a lineup (assuming Corey’s back situation isn’t worse than they say it is).

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  2. I’m not an analytical guy but I like to think I have a good eye for baseball. I don’t care if it’s righty, lefty or a little green Martian man on mound Mookie Betts needs to hit leadoff every single day to set the table for everyone else. That is such a no brainer decision I don’t know what the hell management is thinking. All things considered I think this is our best lineup:
    1. Betts
    2. Seager
    3. Bellinger
    4. Turner
    5. Muncy
    6. Pollock
    7. Pederson
    8. Lux (when he’s back)
    9. Smith

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  3. Unless Bellinger gets off the schneid, and I mean ASAP, yeah, when a major part of who your offense is struggles this bad, you need to be worried. The top of the order has regularly stunk up the joint. The avg with runners in scoring position is abysmal compared to what it was last year. Yep, worry. Personally, I do not think Lux is going to make any kind of an impact this season. He did not look ready 2 1/2 weeks ago, and he is not facing any kind of competition at the alternate site, so all he is doing is working on his fielding and hitting. The entire team except for Seager has been very inconsistent.

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  4. You guys worry too much. Do what I do, start a few negative comments during the game, wipe them out before posting, then sit back when things end in a win and claim you were never worried in the first place.

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    1. Another great signing by the Dodger non-GM Andrew Friedman!!!!!
      (Note: this comment will self-destruct in approximately 2 weeks when AJ stops hitting or gets injured)

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      1. If I’m not mistaken, the Dodgers snagged Pollock back in 2011 in a deal with the Buffalo Blue Jays for Wilmer Font, Rod Barajas and Scotty Elbert. Until recently, Pollock has been buried in the depths of the Los Angeles farm. 😮

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      2. He doesn’t have the arm for right field. That’s why they had him picking strawberries. Whatever he was doing, I’ll happily settle for the production he’s giving us right now and be grateful for it as long as it lasts.

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  5. SD has changed their rotation for the series. Perdomo is going tonight, with Richards tomorrow, Davies on Wednesday and Paddack to finish the series before they go to Anaheim for the weekend.

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      1. Time on the IL cannot be applied towards his suspension. So, whatever the penalty turns out to be, he’d need to be activated to serve it. That’s not to say he couldn’t serve the time injured (as long as he was on the 28-man at the time).

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      2. Most people think that Laureano and Cintron should be penalized more than Kelly as a result of the semi-riot between the A’s and Astros yesterday because of the Covid risk coming from everyone rushing the field. I wonder if all of that will have an effect on Kelly’s appeal, possibly leading to a reduction in his time. Of course MLB has been very easy on the Astros, so maybe Cintron will be forced to sit out the first inning in their next game.

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  6. Back on Pollock. Tonight’s lineup out and he is not in against Perdomo. One of the hottest hitters on team. When a guy is hot play him.

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