The Los Angeles Dodgers have started their season 14-7, which is good for one of the top records in baseball and has them tied for first place in the National League West.
However, they have also been plagued by inconsistencies.
L.A. has dropped the second contest of every three-game series they’ve played and their offense has relied on big innings to carry them rather than getting consistent production. This has led to having the top run differential in baseball (+47), but it still feels like the Dodgers have yet to reach their full potential.
While some of their struggles could be due to the shortened Spring Training, Mookie Betts does not want to use that as an excuse because it’s something every team had to deal with, via SportsNet LA:
“No. It was short for everybody, so we can’t really use that as an excuse. Just have to play the cards you’re dealt. Right now there’s no excuses. Just got to be better in general. Be better all around.”
Part of the Dodgers’ inconsistent offense may be due to the potential deadened ball being used and the new MLB policy requiring each team to use a humidor.
But they have also had multiple key players begin the year with slumps. Betts, along with Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Will Smith have not produced at the levels expected of them. Yet they are still winning because of how good their team is overall:
“We’re really good. Our arms have really kept us in pretty much every game. Like I said, we just have to be better hitting, putting together at-bats, putting together innings, finishing innings. We hit into some double plays or make some bad baserunning mistakes that are all part of the game, but when you want to get rolling and whatnot, those things can’t really happen in some of those situations. Like I said, it’s part of it, but just know going forward we have to be better.”
The Dodgers’ offense still ranks seventh in runs scored (96) and wRC+ (112), but the expectations were they would be the top lineup in baseball.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, their pitching staff has been performing at an elite level. In 176.2 innings, they have a combined 2.29 ERA that is nearly .40 points below the next closest team, which has helped them find early success.
If the pitching staff is able to keep performing well and the offense begins to perform at their expected levels, there is no telling how good this team could end up being.
Dave Roberts agrees with Betts on the Dodgers lineup
Entering Sunday’s series finale, the Dodgers scored just 10 runs in their previous four games, which resulted in a 1-3 stretch. Manager Dave Roberts is unsure of why his club has fallen into an offensive slump, but he too called on them to improve.
“I don’t have a direct answer why we’re having trouble putting innings together and finishing innings. I know the preparation is there, I understand it’s baseball, but we have to be better.
“Bottom line is every game matters and results matter. Our guys are continuing to work, but I don’t have an answer why we’ve sort of stalled the last four games offensively.”
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