Dodgers Team News

Does Dodgers’ Middle of the Lineup Lack Necessary Power?

Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and Max Muncy are the regular three, four, and five hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup this season.

Typically, these three are the most feared hitters because of their power, at least the latter two. But they can all change the course of a game with one swing. However, between the three of them, there are only six home runs this season.

Looking at the numbers, the heart of this lineup is lacking power. But, they are also lacking consistency which directly affects their power hitting.

Freeman has played in parts of 15 seasons and has 322 career home runs. He’s not exactly the definition of a power hitter, as he has only had three seasons with at least 30 home runs. However, he does know how to hit doubles with 477 to his name, and an incredible 59 last year.

Smith made his major debut in 2019 and has 92 home runs and 88 doubles. What he is good at is swinging at strikes and making contact. He hasn’t struck out 100 times in either of the last two seasons which is saying a lot for the 972 combined at-bats.

Then, there is Muncy, who has been known to be all or nothing. His 838 career strikeouts outnumber his 642 hits. His run production is a direct correlation to how many home runs he hits. Last season he drove in career-high 105 runs and slugged a career-best 36 home runs.

Following the Dodgers’ shutout loss to the Washington Nationals earlier this week, Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain brought up the lack of power from the middle of the order.

“You look at the middle of that order, Freddie Freeman,” said McKain. “Things are starting to turn around for Freddie. He’s hitting the ball harder. You’re starting to see him come out of that slump, but the result is we’re not there once again, he goes 0-3. Will Smith, he goes 0-4, and you just need more power from that part of the lineup. Will Smith, if you look at the numbers overall, they’re definitely solid, they’re really good, but you need some more power. Just one homer on the year for Will Smith, so you need the middle of that lineup to start to slug just a little more.”

The common denominator with all three isn’t necessarily a lack of power because it’s there. Their careers have proven it. This year has been a lack of consistency.

These three players are two of the team’s top five strikeout hitters. Muncy is tied for the team lead with 29 and Freeman has 17 which is fifth. Smith only has 13.

Smith’s consistency has been better than the other two. He has a .348 batting average and only trails Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani, but there is a dropoff from there. Freeman is fourth with .276 and Muncy is sixth at .257.

Once these three find their groove, the power numbers will follow. Once they are all seeing the ball better, the production will come. It’s only a matter of time.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

One Comment

  1. Stacking #s 50, 17 & 5 at the top is fine on paper but, you are shooting yourself in the foot with the high volume of Ks in #s 16 & 13 & then the average plunge to 159 & below, not even including the strikeout king Teoscar. I’m positive there is talent in OKC that can perform better than #s 15, 3, 33, 37, & the others hitting below their weight. You have to do something to rattle them up.

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