The Los Angeles Dodgers have started the season strong, being the first team in baseball to tally 10 wins on the season. They sit at 10-2 atop the NL West with the best record in baseball.
So far, this team has been a heck of a lot of fun to watch, as we knew they would be. And they’re not yet all fully heathy or hitting on full cylinders.
While it’s just a small sample size, there have been some fun things happening so far this season. In honor of their 10 wins, we’ll highlight 10 here.
– Clayton Kershaw has been so enjoyable to watch. With the weight of not yet winning a World Series off his shoulders, there is an inherent lightness about him. When he got his ring, there were tears in his eyes, and his smile spilt his face wide open. Oh, and besides his first outing in Coors Field, he’s pitching pretty darn well, too.
– Kenley Jansen has had two really good outings in a row. Odd thing to say I suppose, but we all know Jansen’s past, and all that comes with it. But after Wednesday night’s outing, Kenley said that this season he’s pitching angry. When asked who he’s angry at, he replied “myself. It’s Kenley be Kenley.” Bring it on, Big Man.
– Justin Turner usually takes a while to get going at the beginning of the season. But this season, it’s just the opposite. Turner already has three home runs and leads the team in batting average, sitting at .390. The Whole 30 seems to be working for him.
– Zach McKinstry is seemingly everyone’s new favorite player. The bespectacled utility man has been flashing his glove and the leather, filling in for Mookie Betts in right, while also playing at second and in left. He also has three home runs so far this season and is a joy to watch race around the bases. He’s an easy candidate for Rookie of the Year.
– Blake Treinen has regained his previous form and then some. While the relief pitcher was formidable last year, he has stepped it up this year. In Wednesday night’s game, he unleashed an 85 mph slider that had 35 inches of vertical break to it. Just nasty.
– Joining Jansen and Treinen in the bullpen is Corey Knebel, another Dodgers reclamation project turned gold. He has retired 12 straight batters and 16 of 17 that he’s faced this season. He walked a batter on April 7th, and that’s it. The trio of Jansen, Treinen and Knebel are a very formidable asset to the Dodgers bullpen.
– The Dodgers have the best run differential in all of baseball at +32, nine better than the next best team, the Red Sox. Los Angeles averages almost three runs more per game than Boston. Conversely, the Chicago Cubs do not quite average three runs per game. They are on pace to win 130 games. Easy peasy.
– The Dodgers have been known for their depth and it’s showing this year again. With the aforementioned McKinstry, there’s also Luke Raley, who collected his first major league hit on Wednesday night. The Dodgers have bench players with higher batting averages than many position players on other teams. And, as always, the Dodgers’ clubhouse fosters an atmosphere of acceptance and enthusiasm for whomever is playing at the moment.
– Los Angeles owns the highest team batting average, on base percentage, slugging, and OPS in the Major Leagues. They’re second in the majors in hits, doubles and triples, first in the National League. That’ll play.
– Their current won/loss record goes like this LWWWW LWWWW. If things keep on that path, it would mean a sweep of the Padres in San Diego this weekend. I’m sure all Dodgers fans would take that.
Not all these trends will continue of course, but they will most definitely continue to be an incredibly fun team to watch.