One stat says just about everything you need to know when comparing these two teams in the box. The 2013 Dodgers total home runs was 138. This year, so far, the Dodgers have 152 and are on their way to breaking the club record of 211.
Not only is there a greater emphasis on putting the ball in the air for this team and league wide, the Dodgers simply have more firepower to do so.
The top two home run hitters in 2013 were Adrian Gonzalez (22) and Hanley Ramirez (20). Cody Bellinger surpassed both of those in the first half and may come close to having more dingers this year than they had combined.
Just giving the rosters the eye test, this years team is stacked compared to 2013. I mean, Skip Schumaker, Nick “Shredder” Punto and Jerry Hariston all had over 200 at bats. As grateful as we are for Punto bringing the still used walk-off celebration for the Dodgers, this year’s team is in a much better place.
Replace those three with Kike Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Chris Taylor and the difference is clear. Not only can the players this year swing it better but they are just more dynamic players overall.
The details are important for rounding out a team, but the middle of the lineup guys will always make or break you. 2017 (Seager-Turner-Bellinger) is far superior to 2013, which didn’t really have a clear cut three hitter for the whole year. A-Gon and Hanley had very nice seasons, but besides Puig, at times there was never really a third option.
Those three had 61 home runs combined, and even though injuries limited them, the 2017 trio will be way over that total.
Overall, the offense is just too deep in 2017 and seems to have a new player step up every night to get it done. 2013 just didn’t have that mojo, it had some signs of it, but the offense eventually was part of the reason their season came to a close in the NLCS.
With just over 50 games to go, it will be interesting to see where this Dodgers team has its numbers lands amongst the best teams in club history. Every slot in the lineup this year has produced, and that has really set this team apart from the few years prior. Plus, this team hits lefties, which was something they were crucified for not doing last year.