3 early signs the Dodgers have the depth to match Braves’ lineup this year

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

In a rough weekend series in LA, one bright spot was the Dodgers’ offense, as they continued to show their power and dominance against the National League. The Dodgers’ usual sluggers led the way, with Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani both hitting home runs and Max Muncy notching two blasts on Friday and Sunday.

In Miami, the Atlanta Braves, considered the Dodgers best competition in the National League, won Sunday’s 9-7 game to take two of three from the struggling Marlins. As the hypothetical battle between these teams continues throughout the season (from across the country), here are three early signs the Dodgers could match the Braves’ stellar lineup in 2024:

3 reasons Dodgers are showing early signs of matching Braves' lineup

Top of the Dodgers' Order Wears Out Opponents

The Dodgers stars at the top have exceeded expectations so far this season, as they continue to show the ability to take their walks and trust the bats behind them. In the first 18 games, the top four members of the lineup have combined for a .419 OBP, which has allowed them to create traffic on the bases and tire out opposing pitchers.

Mookie Betts continues to show why he is one of the best players in baseball ,as his combination of power and speed has been on full display so far this season, along with impressive infield defense. Freddie Freeman has not looked as dominant as usual, but he is still showing the ability to get on base for the scorching-hot Will Smith, who leads the team in batting average at .371.

Teoscar Hernández is a Proven Run Producer

Newly acquired outfielder Teoscar Hernández has returned to his 2021 All-Star self, as he has been the strength of the bottom of the order by proving he can drive in the big guys at the top. Currently fourth in RBI, Hernandez has shown this proclivity in the past by driving in 286 runs over the past three seasons with Toronto and Seattle.

Stuck on a one-year deal, this season is huge for Hernández, as he will be looking for a luxurious long-term pact at the conclusion of the campaign. In order to earn security for three or four years, he'll need to show he can thrive in any role on a club. Hernández could be the key to solidifying an outfield that had a few questions surrounding them going into 2024.

Dodgers' Surplus of Platoon Hitters

Though the Braves' 1-9 hitters are a pitcher’s nightmare, Los Angeles may have more depth coming off the bench with strong bats who play many positions. A collection of veterans, Andrew Freidman built a team full of versatility, which is extremely beneficial when players inevitably go down throughout the season. Fan-favorite Kiké Hernández has mainly played against lefties, but has given LA the luxury of having a reliable bat off the bench who can slot into any spot on the field.

Miguel Rojas has been praised for his defensive help with Mookie Betts, but in the few opportunities he’s gotten so far this season, he has made the most of it with two home runs, both coming during the team's first homestand. Chris Taylor has gotten off to a miserable start, which has been concerning for Dave Roberts, as young lefty Taylor Trammell tries to finally solidify himself on an MLB roster behind the pack.

Though the Braves lineup still may be more complete, Los Angeles’ depth and experience could become a factor in them neutralizing the star power in Atlanta. As we look forward to seeing this matchup in October, all baseball fans should sit back and enjoy the beauty of competition.