For the most part, the Los Angeles Dodgers keep plugging away. Plugging in players and pitchers when another has a slump, or has inexplicably imploded on the mound.
And yet, the team is still tied for first in the NL West with the (still!) productive Arizona Diamondbacks, tied for best record in the NL, and third in all of the major leagues.
It’s really not too bad for a team that feels like there’s a new injury or bad reliever every other day.
The offense has definitely been producing, leading the NL in home runs, runs, slugging, and OPS. They also lead the NL in taking their walks.
One player in particular has been on another planet as of late.
On Friday, Freddie Freeman was named the National League Player of the Month for May.
Freddie posted a whopping .400 average, six home runs, 26 RBI, and a 1.184 OPS. He also is currently in the middle of a 21 game hitting streak. Freddie also leads all baseball in total bases so far in 2023, with 1,214.
Freeman and the Dodgers now welcome the New York Yankees and Aaron Judge to Chavez Ravine. Judge is Freeman’s counterpart in the AL, taking home his own Player of the Month award. He returned from an injury May 9th, and took off. He doubled Freddie’s home run amount with 12, batted .342, and had 25 RBI and a 1.356 OPS.
The Yankees started their season slow, mired in the basement of the AL East for weeks. They now have started surging, and are up to third in what is the best division in all of baseball, with all five teams having a winning record.
The Yankees will also have Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton returning to the team from their respective IL stints, adding even more power to this already powerful lineup.
Clayton Kershaw will be the first to face the Yankees, Friday night. Kersh has not pitched well his last three starts, but it sure to be fired up for this matchup at home. He will face Luis Severino who has only pitched 11.1 innings so far for the Yankees, but has a 1.59 ERA, allowing one homer and striking out 10.
Saturday will see Gerrit Cole, who is 6-0 on the season, facing Micheal Grove, who made one start and went on the IL. Sunday will be Domingo Germán and Bobby Miller who looks to get his third win on the season.
On Friday before the game, Manager Dave Roberts spoke to the media. He stated that the Dodgers have decided that Noah Syndergaard will make his next start, in Cincinnati. There has been some discussion of whether or not that would happen, but the Dodgers seem intent to try to let Thor have as long as possible to try to figure things out. Syndergaard has allowed five and six runs in his last two outings, and seems uneven at best. So far, even Mark Prior does not seem to be able to work his magic with the once top-tier pitcher.
“When he makes that start, I’m going to feel the same way I do every time he takes the mound. That he’s going to pitch well and it’s going to turn,” said Roberts. Let’s hope that Doc’s never gets being optimistic output comes true.