Dodgers fans know what Joc Pederson is capable of every time that he steps out onto the baseball field. But fans in Los Angeles REALLY know that he comes alive in October and consistently has huge moments. They call it Joctober for a reason.
Joc spent the first 7 seasons of his big league career playing with the Dodgers. In that time, he hit 9 postseason homeruns, including 5 in the 3 World Series he played in with Los Angeles. To say that he is the definition of a clutch hitter might be an understatement.
But if anyone knows how to deal with Joc, it’s the Dodgers. They know his weaknesses and they know the type of pitches that he can be baited into. But how should they approach him for the National League Championship Series?
The best answer seems to be deploying left-handed pitchers. But even that has changed drastically since his days with the Dodgers. Joc hit .265 in appearances against southpaw pitching in 2021 between the Cubs and Braves. But he still has his weaknesses.
Offspeed stuff is where Joc has an issue. He has hit .165 against sliders this year and .167 against curveballs. Alternatively, Pederson crushed fastballs as he always has in his career. He hit .262 against the heat this year, so don’t expect the Dodgers to give him the opportunity.
You can walk him, you can throw southpaws against him, and you can toss him plenty of junk. But do NOT throw the man a single fastball.