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Entering Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers pace all of baseball with 22 wins thus far in the 2019 season. The club’s fast start has been aided by the lineup, with various players enjoying initial success.
Looking to capture a seventh consecutive National League West title this season, the Dodgers currently find themselves in first place with a slim one-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Let’s review the first six weeks of play and analyze which Dodgers players are trending up with excellent starts, and those who are trending down with disappointing showings.
Kenley Jansen: The Dodgers closer has already notched 12 saves this season, but his struggles with the home run ball have inflated his overall numbers. In 17 appearances to date, Jansen has posted career-highs in both ERA (4.76) and FIP (4.07). A silver lining is that he is continuing to strike out batters at an impressive rate (12.5 per nine).
Joe Kelly: His first season with the Dodgers has not gotten off to a promising start. The right-hander has posted a disastrous 10.13 ERA in 13.1 innings of work, yielding at least one run in eight of his first 13 appearances.
Kenta Maeda: In his first seven starts of the regular season, Maeda has pitched to a 4.66 ERA, 4.80 FIP and 1.42 WHIP over 38.2 innings pitched. His struggles can be attributed to a decline in strikeouts (7.9 per nine) and an uptick in opposing home runs (1.4 per nine).
A.J. Pollock: A disappointing start at the plate has been the least of Pollock’s worries thus far, who was just placed on the 10-day injured list following a third procedure on his right elbow dating back to 2010. Having accumulated 115 plate appearances, the 31-year-old is batting only .223/.287/.330 with two home runs and 14 RBI.
Chris Taylor: Taylor has vastly struggled at the plate thus far, hitting just .218/.289/.368 in 97 plate appearances. However, he has seemingly turned a corner over the past week, making better contact and slugging two home runs against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has seen improvement and believes Taylor is on the verge of snapping out of his slump.
CONTINUE READING: Players who are trending up