Dodgers Team News

Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and More Top Dodgers Performers of the First Half

Coming off of a disappointing finish last season, the Dodgers have bounced back in a big way in the first half of the 2023 MLB season. Through the All-Star Break, the Dodgers are in a virtual tie on top of the NL West standings with the Diamondbacks.

Even though they’ve had their ups and downs to get to this point in the season, these players have put the teams on their backs to make the Dodgers one of the best teams in the league.

Mookie Betts

The MVP for the Dodgers so far this season has been Mookie Betts. The former MVP, seven-time All-Star and two-time World Series Champ keep son finding things he’s never done before in his career this season.

After winning six Gold Gloves in right field, Betts has started bouncing around the field, spending time at shortstop and second base. The playing in the infield, Betts has been providing the offensive boost that has been missing from other shortstops and second baseman on the team.

In 34 games playing in the infield, Betts is hitting over .300 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. No other Dodger middle infielder is putting up those stats.

Overall, Betts has been one of the best hitters on the team. On the season he has an OPS of .964, which leads the team, and has set a career high for home runs before the All-Star Game with 26.

Freddie Freeman

Another player who was selected as a starter in the All-Star Game this year was Freddie Freeman. The Dodgers slugger has been the best first baseman in the game this year.

He is currently third in the National League in batting average and fourth in OPS. On the Dodgers, Freeman has the most hits and stolen bases on the team.

Freeman made personal history earlier this season when he recorded his 2,000th career hit and 300th career home run.

Clayton Kershaw

Heading into his 14th season, people would be surprised that Clayton Kershaw is still the centerpiece of the Dodgers rotation. The three-time Cy Young winner has been the most consistent pitcher for the Dodgers in the first half of the season.

In 16 starts, Kershaw has a National League leading 2.55 ERA. The Dodgers veteran has also struck out 105 batters in 95.1 innings pitched, which leads the team.

Even though he is on the injured list right now, Kershaw has been the healthiest pitcher in the Dodgers rotation. The former MVP has made three more starts than Tony Gonsolin who has the next most with 13.

If Kershaw can keep pitching like vintage Kershaw, the Dodgers rotation can survive while injuries continue.

J.D. Martinez

The argument could be made that the best value signing this past offseason was J.D. Martinez to the Dodgers. The numbers the Dodgers DH is putting up is worth way more than his one-year/ $10 million contract.

In 80 fewer plate appearances than Betts, Martinez is tied for the team lead in RBIs with 62 and has the second most home runs on the Dodgers with 22.

Martinez is historically known as a slugger and he’s showing that with the Dodgers this season. He trails only Betts with a .570 slugging percentage.

Evan Phillips

With a bullpen that has been as unpredictable as any in baseball this season, the one consistent option has been Evan Phillips. After being a reliable option out of the bullpen last season, Phillips has followed that up by being the best option in this year’s bullpen.

In 37 appearances, Phillips has a 2.55 ERA and has saved 12 games, which leads the team. Even though he is not the team’s closer, manager Dave Roberts likes to use Phillips in high leverage situations.

Out of any option in the Dodgers bullpen, Roberts has used Phillips in 17 high leverage situations. Phillips has been ready for the pressure as he’s only allowed 10 runs to score this season.

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