Dodgers Trends: Yasmani Grandal, Curtis Granderson Finish Regular Season On High Note

Dodgers Trends: Yasmani Grandal, Curtis Granderson Finish Regular Season On High Note

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A historic regular season came to a close with the Los Angeles Dodgers posting a Major League-best 104-58 record and therefore clinching home-field advantage through the World Series. The club went 8-6 over the final two weeks after a 5-11 start to the month.

On Saturday, the Dodgers tacked on its 103rd win of the season — the most by any team in franchise history since relocating to Los Angeles in 1958.

The Dodgers will host a divisional opponent in Game 1 of the National League Division Series for the first time in history. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies figure to make for an entertaining matchup in the NL Wild Card Game.

Let’s review the final two weeks of the season and identify which Dodgers players are trending in the right direction, and those that look to turn it around for the postseason.

Trending Down

Cody Bellinger: The odds-on NL Rookie of the Year favorite slashed just .205/.308/.341 over his final 52 plate appearances, but reached another milestone in what’s been a storybook season.

Bellinger clubbed his 39th home run on Sept. 22 — the most by a rookie in NL history — to propel the Dodgers to their fifth consecutive division title. He also led the club with nine RBI during the span.

Hyun-Jin Ryu: It was a rough two-week period for Ryu, who posted a 12.46 ERA and 11.93 FIP in 4.1 innings pitched (two starts). The left-hander allowed three home runs during the span and struck out two batters against one walk.

In his most recent outing against the Rockies, a potential audition for a spot on the NLDS roster, Ryu yielded five runs and six hits (three home runs) over two frames.

Corey Seager: In what’s been a tough September, Seager batted .195/.283/.366 with two home runs in his last 46 plate appearances of the regular season.

Though he’s healthy enough to play defensively and has downplayed it being true, one is inclined to believe Seager’s elbow issues from earlier in the month are hindering the quality of his at-bats.

Trending Up

Yu Darvish: Darvish is in the midst of his best stretch with the Dodgers since being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline. Over his last 12.1 innings, the right-hander owns a minuscule 0.73 ERA and 1.05 FIP with 16 strikeouts to just one walk.

Darvish didn’t allow a home run and gave up just six hits during the timeframe. In his final start of the regular season, he logged seven innings of one-run ball against the San Diego Padres — earning his 10th win in the process.

Though nothing is official yet, Darvish is expected to make his next start in Game 3 of the NLDS.

Yasmani Grandal: After a slow start to the month, Grandal has snapped out of his slump with less than a week until postseason play begins.

Over his previous 33 plate appearances, Grandal led the club with 0.4 WAR (FanGraphs) among qualified position players behind a tremendous .286/.364/.679 slash line with two doubles and three home runs.

Curtis Granderson: The veteran has struggled at the plate since joining the Dodgers in August, but appears to be turning a corner.

In his last 35 opportunities, Granderson is hitting .281/.343/.625 (151 wRC+) with two doubles and three home runs. He drew two walks and scored seven runs while tallying four RBI to boot.

Rich Hill: Over the last two weeks of play, Hill posted ace-caliber numbers. In 13 innings, the southpaw pitched to an 0.69 ERA and 1.15 FIP with a club-leading 0.7 WAR (FanGraphs) among pitchers and 19 strikeouts — good for 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Hill looks to carry his hot streak into October, when he’ll likely make a start in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Yasiel Puig: Puig thrived during the latter half of September, batting .276/.353/.517 with one double and two home runs in 34 plate appearances. He scored six runs and drove in five with his bat, along with drawing three walks compared to five strikeouts.

Justin Turner: Despite an illness and thumb injury that cost him a few games, Turner still enjoyed success at the plate during the second half of September.

In 32 plate appearances, he hit .296/.406/.444 (128 wRC+) with one double and one home run. Turner also drew the same amount of walks (three) as strikeouts and was plunked by two pitches — setting a new Los Angeles record for most hit by pitches in a season.

Honorable Mentions

Austin Barnes: Though he hit a modest .250 in 28 at-bats, Barnes additionally posted an .915 on-base plus slugging with three doubles and two home runs.

Kiké Hernandez: In 22 plate appearances, Hernandez batted .313/.455/.500 with three doubles and five walks.

Alex Wood: Wood finished his campaign strong, pitching to a 3.00 ERA over his final two starts of the season (12 innings). The 2017 All-Star additionally yielded just two walks (one intentional) and put up a 1.00 WHIP during the stretch.