The Dodgers offense is trending in the right direction and first baseman Max Muncy is a big reason why. Muncy has been on the best hitters in the league for the month of May.
Muncy May Offensive Rankings
- SLG: .763 (2nd)
- HR: 5 (t-2nd)
- RBI: 12 (9th)
- OPS: 1.242 (2nd)
- BB%: 18.8% (5th)
- wRC+: 228 (2nd)
Statistics through Saturday May 15th
Between March and April, Muncy posted an underwhelming slash line of .222/.432/.383. Although he led the league in walks (27) during that period, he ranked 19th in RBI (11) for qualified first baseman. Fast forward to May, and Muncy has regained his power stroke. Muncy homered in three straight games this past week and has punished the mistakes of opposing pitchers.
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Walks are just as valuable as singles, but teams need extra base-hits from the heart of the order too. Since April 22nd, manager Dave Roberts has installed Muncy at the cleanup spot or the five hole for nineteen of the 21 games.
However, due to the unfortunate Corey Seager injury, Roberts might be plugging Muncy into the two spot for the foreseeable future.
“I’m not going to box myself in, but obviously when you lose a guy like Corey, Max is an easy guy to plug in there.”
Muncy’s performance during Seager’s absence will be an important indicator for the Dodgers offense. Through Saturday, Los Angeles has averaged 6.33 runs per game in May – good for fourth the majors.
The key for Muncy, and the Dodgers, is consistency. 30 of their 78 runs (38.4%) scored in May came from two games. One was a blowout win against Milwaukee, the other, a near meltdown in Orange County. Note, Anaheim is not in Los Angeles.
To get back to the point at hand, losing a bat like Seagers is a big blow. No team simply replaces a World Series and NLCS MVP.
But, if Max can continue to hit for power, on top of earning his many, many walks, the Dodgers offense can stay afloat.