After weeks of alternative lineups, it seems as though Dave Roberts has found the Dodgers “money lineup.” As proof by the offensive explosion put on by the lineup Tuesday night in Chavez Ravine.
Some of Roberts’ decision making can cause some division amongst fans of the Dodgers, either inciting a flurry of hatred or support. However, as soon as the lineup was released at around 3 o’clock, Dodger fans almost in unison praised the lineup that was put forth by the third year skipper.
This was the deepest lineup Roberts could have possibly put out. There were no real breaks in this lineup other than the 9-hole which was the pitcher. Starting with Chris Taylor who has quietly been heating up for the boys in blue.
Following Taylor, was Muncy who is white hot at the moment and boasts a 1.026 OPS which is the best in the NL (min. 120 AB’s). Muncy is also the team leader in home runs and one of 4 players in the lineup with double digit bombs.
Then we have the “meat and potatoes” of the lineup with Turner, Kemp, Bellinger, and Grandal. Turner has still been dealing with pain in his wrist as of late, but he has been good regardless and when/ if he gets at or close to 100% he will be even better. Kemp has been a pleasant surprise and one of the best hitters not only on this team but in the entire MLB.
Bellinger is starting to hit fastballs and work himself into hitters counts that let him do damage. Nomar Garciaparra constantly repeated “When you are in a slump it seems like you step in the box and it is 0-2 in the blink of an eye”. That was the perfect summary of Bellinger’s struggles at the plate. He would get behind quick and never bounce back. When Bellinger is ahead in the count he is hitting .301 and has 6 bombs. It is all just a matter of him getting ahead and battling back when he falls behind.
Grandal, is lightning in a bottle and has been good this season. He can ignite the club with a home run on any given swing. But he can also kill a rally with a double play or a strikeout. Having him hit after Bellinger gives teams a lot to think about. Both players can go yard at any moment and cause trouble.
The wild horse follows Grandal, and he like most of the Dodgers is finally getting his groove back. He HAMMERED a ball into the left-field pavilion during the team’s 7-run outburst in the 4th inning. When Puig is bat flipping, things just feel right. In his last 24 games, Puig has seven home runs and is slashing .351/.415/.730.
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Finally, we have the scorching hot Joc Pederson. For a player who almost nobody wanted on the roster to begin the season, Pederson has once again crept himself into the hearts of Dodger fans with his stellar play.
Pederson has played in 9 games this month. He has seven home runs which leads the MLB for this month (Muncy is in second with 6), he is hitting .481 and has only two strike outs in his 27 at-bats. Seeing his uptick in power not come with a side effect of a higher strikeout rate is remarkable and a testament to what he and the coaching staff have been working on this season.
The biggest difference between this lineup and every other lineup Roberts has put out this season is that there will be production from every single position. This is because Mad Max Muncy got the start at second base. Something we weren’t sure we would see since Doc had been reluctant to give Muncy a start there all season.
Muncy has been head and shoulders above the production of Logan Forsythe. The argument for starting Loggie bear over anyone else was his remarkable defense. That has since taken a hit after Forsythe has been wildly inconsistent with the glove this season. Well, that is very uncharacteristic of him, Forsythe has been somewhat of a liability on defense and has had no real offensive production.
Muncy may not be the defender that Forsythe is, but he brings a much better bat and with Forsythe seemingly declining on the defensive end, why not give Muncy a shot to get the job. This lineup was productive, and hopefully, Roberts sticks to this lineup at least against right-handed pitching. The offense exploded for 12 runs on the night and proved how deadly this lineup could be.