While many of the media outlets covering the Dodgers were offering up their 2018 projected lineups not long after the conclusion of last year’s World Series, it’s been a while since we’ve jotted down any of our own ideas. Not much has altered as far as the position players go, but after letting our thoughts digest for most of the winter, some of our views have changed a bit since we’ve laid out any projections.
For Game 7 of the 2017 World Series on Wednesday evening at Dodger Stadium, skipper Dave Roberts and the management crew of the Dodgers have decided to stick with a very familiar batting order which has consistently delivered success throughout the postseason.
The good news is the World Series has now shifted back to Los Angeles where the Dodgers were stellar during the regular season and have been nearly untouchable in the playoffs. The bad news is there’s no margin for error, as the Astros are just a single win away from a World Championship. On top of that, Houston is sending veteran righty Justin Verlander to the bump, who has been absolutely outstanding during the 2017 postseason.
One day after managing to halt all of the momentum of the Astros, the Dodgers have decided to employ the exact same batting order which served them success in Game 4, but this time Los Angeles will lineup behind resident ace Clayton Kershaw.
As most of the momentum has now shifted to the Astros side heading into Game 4 in Houston, the Dodgers will now turn to Alex Wood in hopes of holding the Houston offense at bay, while the Los Angeles bats intend to finally break free and generate some much needed runs.
Squaring off against left-hander Dallas Keuchel in the opening game of the World Series on Tuesday evening, skipper Dave Roberts and the management crew of the Dodgers have decided to employ a predominantly right-handed batting order.
On the offensive side of things, there’s probably not a streakier hitter on the Dodgers‘ entire roster than catcher Yasmani Grandal. When he’s hot, he’s often capable of carrying the team’s production on his own shoulders, but when he’s cold, he sometimes shuts down completely. During these quiet stretches, the club’s output with the lumber frequently feels the effects of such nosedives, especially when he’s entrenched smack dab in the middle of the Los Angeles batting order.
Being that the San Francisco Giants have resided in the cellar of the National League West for almost the entirety of the season, coupled with the fact that they are only a few games away from the Philadelphia Phillies for having the worst record in all of baseball, one would have presumed that a three-game series at AT&T Park was just what the doctor ordered to ease the Los Angeles Dodgers out of perhaps one of their worst team slumps in decades.
While there’s been very heavy speculation lately about the effectiveness of the Dodgers‘ most common batting orders, there’s little guarantee that moving around several regular pieces will make a huge difference in the overall potency of the offense. The same can be said about moving up right fielder Yasiel Puig in the lineup—he’s definitely thrived in the lower part of the order, but when given the chance to hit in the middle, hasn’t made much of a notable difference at all.
Without question, there’s no one particular area of the team that can take the brunt of the blame for the Dodgers‘ current losing skid. It was only less than a week ago that the starting pitching was borderline horrendous, yet once that particular problem began fixing itself, a major epidemic of ineffectiveness started to lurk over the majority of the bullpen. All this while the offense, which was once shouldering a huge load of the club’s success, has become nearly dormant.