Dodgers News: J.D. Martinez Feels He’s Been ‘Kind Of Unlucky Lately’

Amidst a relatively quiet offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers was signing J.D. Martinez, who has enjoyed a successful stint with the team so far as their designated hitter.

Although Martinez is among the five Dodgers All-Stars for the 93rd Midsummer Classic, he’s recently fallen into a bit of a rough stretch.

Some of that was turned around on Wednesday, when Martinez blasted his 20th homer of the season to give the Dodgers a 5-4 lead. His go-ahead homer had been set up by walks from Will Smith and Max Muncy.

“Will and Muncy had really good at-bats, found a way to get on and it put pressure on the pitcher to throw me strikes,” Martinez said.

Over his last 30 games (29 starts), Martinez is hitting just .205/.252/.453 with five doubles, eight home runs and 20 RBI.

The 35-year-old isn’t sure if the homer will help him break out of that funk, but Martinez also believes he’s been the victim of some bad luck over his cold streak.

“I feel like I’ve been kind of unlucky lately, hitting some balls where I’m just missing home runs,” Martinez said. “It’s just kind of one of those things I’m going through right now. I was fortunate enough there it was able to go out and give us the lead.”

Martinez’s batted ball data is still encouraging, ranking in the 91st percentile of average exit velocity, 94th percentile of hard-hit rate, 98th percentile of expected slugging, 90th percentile of expected wOBA, and the 96th percentile of barrel rate.

The numbers also back up Martinez’s bad luck theory. He currently ranks 18th in wOBA-xwOBA at -0.032 and xBA-BA at -0.028, along with 45th in SLG-xSLG at -0.029.

That essentially means Martinez’s batted ball profile suggests he should be hitting and slugging roughly 0.025 points higher, with walks and other factors that would affect his on-base percentage.

Of course, on-field production in baseball never fully matches expected results, but they still back up that Martinez has been hitting the ball at an elite level. If he continues to swing the bat the same way for the rest of the season, it’s fair to expect his numbers to begin trending up.

J.D. Martinez starting at DH for NL All-Stars

The Dodgers had Mookie Betts, Freeman and Martinez voted among the 2023 MLB All-Star Game starters on the National League.

Martinez is the second Dodgers player to start an All-Star Game at DH. Although when Max Muncy did so in 2021, fans did not yet vote for that position on the NL team.

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