Analyzing a Few of the Dodgers’ Strongest Lineups of the Season

On Monday night, the Dodgers scored 10 runs, five days after being beaten by an offensively dominant Oakland team, 16-6. For the first 10-12 games of the season, many asked: “Where oh where is the Dodgers’ offense?”

If that night proved anything, it’s that the Dodgers’ offense is on the field, and up to the challenge; right where it should be. Add in a seven-run outburst on Tuesday night, paired with a 13-run mark on Wednesday, and one would begin to think the bats are back on track.

On Monday, the Dodgers took the Padres deep twice, with homers from Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal, who both spent time with San Diego earlier on in their careers.  Those homers helped Hyun-Jin Ryu to his second win of the season. Tuesday saw another long ball from Kemp, while utility-man Max Muncy spearheaded Wednesday evening’s attack with a bomb and two RBI of his own.

The Dodgers are deep. That’s no secret. That depth, however, leads to a multitude of options for Dave Roberts when he fills out the lineup card. After all, the skipper has used 17 different lineups in all 17 games of the season. Monday’s lineup, however, may just be what the Dodgers need to get them out of this slump, and back into first place.

BREAKING DOWN MONDAY’S LINEUP:

  1. Taylor (CF)  .208AVG, 16-77 w/ 3HR 
  2. Seager (SS)  .254AVG, 18-71 w/ 1HR 
  3. Hernández (2B) .222AVG, 10-45 w/ 1HR
  4. Bellinger (1B) .304AVG, 21-69 w/ 2HR
  5. Kemp (LF)  .347AVG, 17-49 w/ 3HR
  6. Grandal (C) .352AVG, 19-54 w/ 3HR
  7. Puig (RF) .215AVG, 14-65 w/ 0HR  
  8. Farmer (3B) .273AVG, 6-22 w/ 0HR

WHAT WORKS:

Aside from Hernandez in the three-hole, I love this batting order. It’s no Murders Row (few, if any lineups ever will be again) but it is undeniably good. What really works about it, is that other than maybe Seager and Bellinger, there are no big names on this list, proving that you don’t need to have a star-studded lineup in order to succeed.

Grandal, a player many thought would be traded this offseason, leads the team in average and is tied with Taylor and Kemp for home runs. The Dodgers don’t need to change the game, they just have to win.

Another aspect of this lineup that I really like is Kyle Farmer at third. His defense has been solid and he has the power needed to hit for extra bases. He’s not Justin Turner by no means, and the Dodgers, as well as their fans, are on the edge of their stadium seats awaiting his return. Turner, however, is injured, and I would much rather he be injured now as opposed to later on in the season. The Dodgers can win without Clayton Kershaw. They can win without Cody Bellinger.

They can win without Justin Turner. In fact, they already have been.

WHAT DOESN’T:

There is a lot I like about this lineup, but the one thing I would change is I would flip Kemp and Grandal in the order. Grandal, the way he’s been hitting, would be able to drive in Bellinger or at least move him over to second or third.

The lineup will be reshuffled again once Turner and the recently injured Logan Forsythe come back, making it look something like this;

  1. Taylor (CF)
  2. Seager (SS)
  3. Turner (3B)
  4. Bellinger (1B)
  5. Grandal (C)
  6. Kemp (LF)
  7. Forsythe (2B)
  8. Puig (RF) 

The other day I was thinking about just how deep this team really is. This team, with the help of a few minor leaguers, have another winning team within their already historic organization.

Here is what a Dodgers lineup could look like made up of primarily bench players and utility men;

Chase Utley (1B)

Kiké Hernandez (SS)
Max Muncy (3B)
Austin Barnes (C)
Andrew Toles (RF)
Joc Pederson (LF)
Tim Locastro (2B)
Alex Verdugo (CF)

Though October is a long ways off, the Dodgers are 4.0 games back of first place, and that is a gap they want to close, sooner rather than later. I don’t expect Roberts to send the World Series lineup out there every game, but if they want to beat the D-Backs and take back first place, they may have to treat every game like it matters.

If they do, they could find themselves back there this fall, playing for another pennant.

 

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Breaking Down the Dodgers’ Early-Season Struggles

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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Comporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

Is this the team we know? Is this the team that lost 11 straight and caused worry in even some of the most devout fans? Is this the team that lost Game 7 of the World Series?

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Dodgers Roster: First Week Pitching Performance Evaluations

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(Mandatory Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

It’s been a happy, yet rough week for the Dodgers. On Thursday, Clayton Kershaw tossed the first pitch to Yasmani Grandal, marking the official commencement of the 2018 season. Since then, we have seen some remarkable pitching performances, as well as some we wish could be erased, or redone.

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At Last, It’s Time for Dodger Baseball

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We’ve been waiting for months. We’ve endured the heartbreaking and bitter-sweet days that followed Game 7. We’ve watched as one of the most talented classes of free agents sat quietly, waiting for the kinds of offers they’re worthy of to start rolling in.

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Celebrating 60 Years in Los Angeles: A Crash Course on How the Dodgers Left Brooklyn

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The year is 1957. It’s been 10 years since the world was introduced to Jackie Robinson. Brooklyn, New York is the epitome of a baseball town. Ebbets Field has spent the entirety of it’s season being home to some of the strongest fans, and loudest cheers in New York.

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Breaking Down the Dodgers’ Top Rivals & How They’re Shaping Up in 2018

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(Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Rivalries—they’re one of the most important parts of the game. In baseball, rivalries are as real as Cody Bellinger‘s rookie home run record. They are the bat flip of all bat flips. They are the homers heard ’round the world.

They are, simply, baseball.

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Dodgers Bullpen: Why Ross Stripling Is Ready to ​Step-Up in 2018

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(Mandatory Credit: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press)

In the Oscar-nominated baseball movie from 2011, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill brought the historic tale of the 2002 Oakland Athletics to life. Moneyball is about a small market team finding overlooked players that were able to rival the nearly $200M payroll of the New York Yankees.

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How Does Matt Kemp Fit In with the New Dodgers?

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(Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok/Associated Press)

October 7th, 2014, it’s a day that, in the minds of Dodger fans, can feel like decades ago. It’s the day that the Dodgers lost in the NLDS to the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s also the day that Matt Kemp played his last game with Los Angeles.

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Breaking Down Two Recent Free-Agent Deals and How They Affect the Dodgers

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(Mandatory Credit: John Minchillo/Associated Press)

The Dodgers have been quiet. Not too quiet, just quiet. They haven’t signed a big name free agent. They haven’t traded for the face of a franchise. They haven’t done much, but did they really need to?

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How the Cubs Signing Yu Darvish Affects the Dodgers

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All offseason, we have heard rumors upon rumors about the top two free agent starters; Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.  One of those starters, Arrieta, is still unsigned with spring training now officially underway. The other, Darvish, is headed to Arrieta’s former team, the Chicago Cubs.

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