Dodgers Lineups: More Thoughts About the Leadoff Spot

Nearly a quarter into this shortened 60 game season, the Dodgers stand with a 7-4 record and tied for second place in the National League West. Throughout those 11 games, there have been multiple players who’ve hit first in the batting order.

The majority of time hitting first has been divided between Max Muncy and Mookie Betts, with Joc Pederson making an appearance last night in that spot homering on the first pitch he saw.

After Monday’s game, manager Dave Roberts said it’s a possibility that Pederson will see more time in that spot against right-handed pitching. Earlier this season, Roberts said most of the leadoff position would be divided by Betts and Muncy.

With Betts still dealing with a finger injury keeping his status day to day, Pederson can likely see more time at the number one spot until Betts fully recovers.

During the 2019 season with the Red Sox, Betts saw most of his at-bats from the leadoff spot, 413 of 597 to be exact. In the number one spot, his batting average was .283 and he had an OBP of .347. Betts also walked 64 times and scored 94 runs. He has a career batting average of .303 while hitting leadoff as it is the spot where he’s seen the most at-bats.

Muncy has struggled like many hitters to start the season as he’s only batting .200, but has hit three homers. Against the Padres on Monday night, he was hitless in four at-bats. Batting first this season, Muncy has only registered three hits in 20 at-bats. In comparison, Betts is 7-for-21 batting first this season.

Muncy last season only saw one plate appearance in the leadoff spot, with most of his at-bats came batting second. He had a.250 batting average in the two-hole while also knocking in 33. The other spot he saw a lot of at-bats was fifth where he averaged .242 and drove in 24.

Pederson last season was the Dodgers primary leadoff hitter, garnering 441 plate appearances in that spot. His batting average was .250 and he had an OBP of.342, while also tallying 33 homers in that position. He also scored 76 runs and walked 43 times. While this year he’s seen most of his at-bats seventh in the order, his only time being leadoff was Monday night going 1-for-4 with a homer.

With Muncy struggling in the leadoff spot, it will more than likely he goes to second in the batting order. He can drive in more runners from that spot, and we’ve seen him make a couple of loud outs that sometimes can move runners over. 

It would be expected that once Betts recovers, he will most likely return to the main leadoff spot, which was the idea coming into the season, being that he is also the biggest base-stealing threat on the Dodgers. With Pederson seeing time in the leadoff position against right handers, Betts could move back to second in the order and Muncy perhaps to fifth.

Roberts alluded that Pederson probably will bat leadoff more this series against the Padres. Betts’s availability is still uncertain, so we can expect Pederson in that spot. 

Dennis discussed a similar leadoff comparison between Betts and Muncy at the beginning of the year.

The Dodgers will look to even the series tonight when they face right-hander Dinelson Lamet. Los Angeles will send 22-year-old Dustin May to the mound for his third start this season. So far, May has given up two runs in 7.2 innings making starts against the Astros and the Giants.

The Dodgers fell to the Padres 5-4 in the opening game, as Walker Buehler gave up three solo home runs over five innings pitched, while Brusdar Graterol gave up two runs to take the loss.

The first pitch tonight is set for 6:10 p.m. Los Angeles time.

 

Why Mookie Betts Is the Best Daily Leadoff Option

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(Harry How/Getty Images)

Just three games into the shortened 2020 season, some fans of the Dodgers have already been voicing their displeasure over the daily lineup cards written by skipper Dave Roberts.

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Max Muncy Laying Foundation for Impressive Career

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With not much going on in the hot stove world of baseball yet, and it being the end of a decade, a lot of other Dodgers blogs and sites are doing best of the 2010’s, or making lists of their favorite players of the last decade.

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Thoughts on Dodgers’ Injuries and Motivation

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There are only two weeks left in the Dodgers regular season, and I want them to go very slowly. If nothing else, the last two seasons have taught me that the postseason is a crapshoot, left up to whether your bullpen and/or bats will actually produce when they need to the most.

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Dodgers Roster: What Lies Ahead for Max Muncy in 2019?

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(Getty Images photo)

In addition to hot stove talk and reruns of old games, MLB Network fills its offseason programming with Top Ten rankings of position players and pitchers. Most recently, it revealed its 10 best starting pitchers. Clayton Kershaw came in at number 10 on the list, and he was chosen as one the best pitchers of the last decade.

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So Far, Max Muncy’s 2018 Season Has Been Monumental

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(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

While there have been many fantastic storylines that have come in the first-half of 2018, none has captured the hearts of Dodgers fans more than the emergence of utility man extraordinaire Max Muncy. By no means am I saying his overall statistics are monumental—his home run output is very close, though—but considering where he was on the organizational ladder last winter, his ascension to becoming the Dodger’s top slugger has been colossal. It’s almost reminiscent of the under-the-radar advent of Chris Taylor in 2017, but in a much smaller span of time.

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Dodgers’ Offense Continues to Flex Muscles Against Rangers

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Say the words “Houston Astros” in L.A., and you’ll get a variety of responses but, more often than not, you’ll hear tales of the 2017 World Series. The cities of Houston and Los Angeles are forever connected and, until the Dodgers get a second chance, Houston will be the hero of that tale. Travel 258 miles North up I-45, however, and you’ll hear a different story.

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Better 25-Man Roster Option: Max Muncy or Alex Verdugo?

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(Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Davis)

With the Dodgers having won six of their last seven games, there’s really not much for fans to complain about these days, especially since the team is now only 3-1/2 games out of the division lead. However, when considering the overall scope of the 25-man roster, many people familiar with the club are still wondering if the team is indeed using the best available players at the big league level.

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Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Kershaw, Muncy, Kemp, Seager & More

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So, apparently my previous declaration of the Dodgers never losing again after the first Cactus League game of the season was a little off base, as the team hasn’t won again since. I know, it’s only been three games, but still, guys, way to make me look bad.

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Dodgers 2018 Roster: The Time Could Be Now for Max Muncy

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(Mandatory Credit: Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

When considering the few holes in the Dodgers‘ prospective 25-man roster for the upcoming season, many fans are quick to point out the needs for starting pitching, bullpen help or even some type of power bat in the middle of the lineup. However, we’ve been talking for a few months about the potential requirement for a left-handed hitting middle infielder, most specifically a body to pair with Logan Forsythe at second base.

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