Here’s why Gavin Lux could be Dodgers’ postseason X-factor

Colin Loughran
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 22: Gavin Lux #9 and Hanser Alberto #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 22: Gavin Lux #9 and Hanser Alberto #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Postseason baseball is often defined by detail. Every pitch matters, and at-bats are not to be taken lightly. Players who understand the details of October will certainly know it’s paramount to be disciplined and grind out each at-bat.

Given his 2022 productivity, place in the lineup, and prior experience, Gavin Lux could be a detail-oriented X-Factor for the Los Angeles Dodgers this fall.

The Dodgers lineup is powerful. Names such as Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner and others help form a group that leads MLB in RBi and OPS. Lux is not the most feared Dodgers hitter by any stretch, but he’s been able to compile the kind of season that warrants serious respect.

He’s played a career high of 115 games thus far and has slashed .293/.386/.428 while leading the majors in triples. The advanced stats show that Lux is a selective swinger. He ranks in the 86th percentile in terms of chase rate and has already walked more than he did in all of 2021. The former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball has been a more than serviceable “table-setter” for a club that boasts major star power. He lengthens this lineup and makes it that much better.

Lux has most often hit ninth in the order. Betts and Trea Turner are the usual tandem at the top of the lineup, meaning there’s a situation in which a pitcher in October may be forced to face Lux-Turner-Betts. Three contact hitters. Three threats on the bases.

This possibility exists with many variables regardless of where Lux hits in the order. Simply put, if Lux can grind out consistent AB’s in October, it’ll make the Dodgers that much more of a threat.

Lux is currently recovering from a neck injury, but should be set to return before the playoffs. He’s someone who has been in the playoffs before, too. While he hasn’t been “dominant” in these settings, one could make the case that those experiences have aided his upward trajectory.

In any event, his contributions should not go unnoticed, and there’s a distinct possibility he’ll be able to make some serious noise for the boys in blue when it matters most.

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