The Dodgers have either been the unstoppable force we all hoped for and expected, or an incredibly frustrating team to watch. Mostly because of very hot and cold starts throughout the team.
- Corey Seager… Duh
We needed to start with the obvious. Who had Seager for MVP? We did, and he is not disappointing. He is the hottest hitter in baseball not named Judge or Castellanos, and that’s mostly because he’s not a home run hitter. Yet he has 3 already and missed his 4th by inches against the Padres today. He settled for his 4th double instead. His expected stats are other worldly. His statcast rankings say it all. He’s also leading the league in barrels per PA and it’s not even close right now.
- Ross Stripling
I don’t think anyone expected our best starter 2 trips through to be Ross Stripling. He wasn’t even supposed to be in the rotation until a David Price opt out, a Kershaw back in jury, and then now an Alex Wood injury has solidified his role for at least half the season. So far he’s pitched longer and just as well as anyone on the staff.
- AJ Pollock
.323/.382/.613. That is Pollock’s current slash line. That OPS of .995 blows his career average of .806 out of the water. In fact, his career high in OPS came in 2015 at .865. So this could very well be a career year for Pollock who is finally healthy, much like Seager. Only difference is Pollock is outperforming his expected stats.
- Julio Urias
He hasn’t been lights out, but he’s definitely getting the job done. He currently has a better ERA than Gerrit Cole. People easily forget he’s only 23, since he was only 19 when he debuted. Urias also threw a gorgeous 2.49 ERA in almost 80 innings last year. He should be a mainstay behind Buehler for years to come. He’s also lighting up statcast, although not like Seager.
- Kenley Jansen and the Bullpen
Wow. We mention Jansen because he’s still the head of this pen and is looking much more like his old self after Roberts told him to stop worrying about velocity and focus on movement. Treinen has looked great minus one outing of bad control, Graterol seems like a win for both us and the Twins, and Joe Kelly has won over every Dodger fan. Also just a reminder of how well everyone pitched the Astros…
- Cody Bellinger
He did just hit 2 home runs in his last 2 games, but it’s hard to ignore the .159/.213/.318 slash line for the reigning MVP. By the way, that’s after the homers. And the big news was a new batting stance coming into the season. Still probably nothing to worry about here as he seems to be figuring it out and still provides gold glove defense next to Mookie.
- Will Smith / Austin Barnes
The actual Fresh Prince of Bel-Air took a couple seasons before it was a hit too. As for Barnes his one offensive season is proving to be the outlier of his career. However both are great defensively, and have been putting in good at bats for the 9 spot. Not to mention, the success of the pitching staff is also the catchers’ success.
- Max Muncy
Take out the 3 hit game with 2 home runs against the Giants and Muncy has been practically silent. When you consider that he’s been at the top of the lineup while Seager has been scorching hot from the middle down, his struggles are amplified significantly. He’s only 2 for 16 with one walk in his last four games. But you don’t hit 35 HRs in back to back years by accident. Hopefully he can turn it around in time. Otherwise he may find himself in the bench with Lux coming up and Rios and Beaty providing more value with the bat.
- Walker Buehler
Buehler… Buehler… Are you still there Buehler? Because this isn’t the ace we know. But we’re not worried. Even a struggling Buehler has still been mostly good. He’s just catching up from the time he missed due to Covid and summer training. His control hasn’t been there, so he’s been falling behind in counts, and so far batters have made him pay with 4 home runs in his first two starts. Including 3 by the Padres in the last.