There were a lot of questions about the Dodgers lineup entering the 2023 season.
The Dodgers were unusually quiet in the offseason, leaving even more doubt that this lineup would be able to compete as one of the best in all of baseball. Two months into the season, though, those doubts have been silenced.
Through 56 games, the Dodgers have scored a National League-best 313 runs, only trailing the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays for the most in all of baseball. The Dodgers also lead the National League with 93 home runs and are fourth in all of baseball with an OPS of .786.
Last year, the Dodgers led baseball with an incredible 5.2 runs per game. At this point in the season, they’re averaging an even better 5.9 runs per game.
There’s no one reason this Dodgers lineup is firing right now, however, one of them is the acquisition of designated hitter J.D. Martinez. The Dodgers brought him in to hit, and that’s exactly what he’s done — especially in the month of May.
After Tuesday’s 9-3 Dodgers win, in which Martinez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a two-run home run, he spoke about the Dodgers potent offense that just keeps on rolling.
“This lineup is potent — before I even got here. It feels like there’s four or five guys any given night that can hurt you, that can carry the load. And that’s the biggest thing,” Martinez said. “It could be Mookie, it could be Freddie, it could be Muncy, it could be J-Hey, it could be Outy, it could be anyone. CT. Peralta. Anybody. It just seems that someone seems to step up every night. It takes a lot of pressure off everyone else.”Via SNLA
J.D. Martinez's updated stats after his two-run home run in the 7th inning:
The Dodgers brought him in to hit and drive in runs and that's exactly what he's done. His 1-year, $10 million deal is one of the best of the past offseason.— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) May 31, 2023
Right now, Martinez and Freddie Freeman are leading the charge. Martinez’s 14-game hitting streak is only bettered by Freeman, who’s currently riding a 19-game hitting streak of his own. But Mookie Betts has had a hot month, too, and even David Peralta and Jason Heyward are swinging a better bat, among others. And we haven’t even talked about Will Smith or Max Muncy.
Suffice to say, this Dodgers lineup is loaded with talent, even without some of the big names in last year’s lineup. And while they lost a ton of production from the shortstop position — going from Trea Turner to Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor — they’re getting a huge boost with Martinez in the lineup.
“He’s been perfect,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Martinez after Tuesday’s game. “It’s really hard to replace a guy like Justin (Turner), but to have a guy in there that’s a professional hitter — that can hit righty, lefty — it just makes more sense for a lineup.”
Dave Roberts on Tony Gonsolin's outing and the 'team offense' that helped seal the win. pic.twitter.com/u87BxrNKBO— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 31, 2023
Martinez definitely had some big shoes to fill this year, but he’s done it perfectly. He’s already on pace to shatter his home run mark from a year ago, and could be playing his way into an All-Star game for the third straight season.
Martinez has been one of the most underrated additions of the offseason, and he’s helped take this Dodgers offense to an entire new level.
The 2022 Dodgers lineups may have been historically good — but the 2023 Dodgers lineup is playing even better right now.
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