Dodgers Look to Use Last Two Series as Tuneups for Postseason

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

Even though it was a much shortened season, it still feels like we’ve reached the end of the season so quickly. Today is the last off day for the Dodgers during the regular season, with the playoffs starting next Wednesday.

Los Angeles did well in their series at Coors Field, winning three of the four games. The offense put up its biggest outing of the year by scoring 15 runs in Saturday’s game. Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin continue to impress, and once Julio Urias got over his first inning struggles, he also was able to tamper the Rockies’ bats.

The Dodgers are done playing teams within their division. They will close out the 2020 regular season with two three-games series against the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The next six games should be used as a tuning up for the playoffs. The Dodgers can clinch their eighth division title as early as Tuesday, if they win their first game against the A’s and the San Diego Padres lose to the Angels. Their lead over the Padres currently sits at 4.0 games.

One of the biggest worries for Dodger fans heading into the postseason is the state of the offense. For most of the season, last year’s NL MVP Cody Bellinger has not looked at all like his 2019 self. But things may finally be turning in the right direction for the the centerfielder. In his last seven games, Belli is slashing .320/.433/.520 with a home run and two doubles, five RBI and five walks. He seems to have made an adjustment where he has moved back from the plate, and it seems to be paying off. If he can continue this success through the playoffs, the Dodgers might be able to avoid previous postseason pitfalls.

Max Muncy seems to be the only player that’s hasn’t yet hit his stride at the plate. He is still hitting under the Mendoza line, and has only four hits in his last seven games. I’m unsure what’s going on with Muncy, but should he be able to find whatever is missing in the next week, the NL better watch out.

Regardless, the Dodgers could be able to withstand Muncy not hitting well. Chris Taylor has been his normal dependable self, hitting two homers, a double and a triple in the last week. Mookie Betts and Justin Turner will always be reliable in their batting, and Corey Seager is just having a fantastic year at the plate. Will Smith, when he is catching, is having a great year, and A.J. Pollock looks much better than years previous. We all know the Dodgers have the best offense in the National League. The question unfortunately remains will it remain that throughout the playoffs.

On Monday, Joc Pederson was reinstated from the family emergency leave list. Rookie Zach McKinstry was option back to the alternate site.

4 thoughts on “Dodgers Look to Use Last Two Series as Tuneups for Postseason

  1. I wonder if there is a point at which they decide to sit Muncy for the playoffs, or at least the first series. With guys like Belli, Kike and CT3, even if they aren’t hitting they contribute on defense. You really can’t say that about Max. Of course if sitting Max would mean starting Joc, you probably haven’t gained much.
    I expect Muncy will play all or at least most of the next 6 games. Then Doc will have to make a decision. If they do decide to start Max in the playoffs and his hitting hasn’t improved, I really hope they don’t make him the cleanup hitter or bat him anywhere near the middle of the order. That would be beyond stupid. Hit him ninth and pretend he’s a pitcher. Maybe a total lack of expectation will bring him out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m wondering if Muncy has been playing hurt. There was that wrist or hand problem earlier in the year. His power metrics [according to statcast] like ev and %hard hit have been in serious decline, if not collapse. What do you think? Not healthy?

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      1. Good thought Waldo. I had totally forgotten about that. If it isn’t hurting him now, it could have caused him to form some bad habits when he first came back if he wasn’t totally recovered back then.
        It’s just hard to believe a guy could forget how to hit from one season to the next, especially after having really nice seasons here in the last two years.

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  2. Looking more and more like their first round opponent will be the Reds. Nobody there scares you offensively, but their starters are pretty good. Bullpen, not so much.

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