The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the smartest front offices in baseball. With cutting-edge analytics and one of the largest budgets in the league, they’ve built a dynasty headed for its seventh straight NL West title.
Now it’s seems as though they’ve found a new market inefficiency: Hit a ton of home runs.
Seems simple enough, but with four more homers on Friday, the Dodgers set a major league record of 22 home runs in their past five games.
Even in an era of launch angle and juiced baseballs, that’s an incredible showing by the Dodgers. And considering three of those games came at Marlins Park, which is the sixth-hardest stadium to homer in, it’s especially a mark to celebrate.
Dodgers keep the power surge going against Atlanta
Friday looked like a likely day for the Dodgers to stop mashing considering they were up against rookie sensation Mike Soroka, but no dice.
Cody Bellinger helped raise Soroka’s sparkling 2.32 ERA in the second inning when he launched a league-leading 41st home run to right-center field. At 124 games, he's the fastest to that mark since Giancarlo Stanton launched 59 homers in 2017.
Different ballpark, same result. pic.twitter.com/QOXCm0lUMg
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 16, 2019
The Dodgers were able to chase Soroka in the seventh inning, and that quickly paid off. Just two batters later, Max Muncy and Justin Turner went back-to-back off Sean Newcomb.
Both of those bombs were notable since Muncy became the first Dodger to reach 30 homers in back-to-back seasons since Shawn Green in 2002. As for Turner, it was his fifth homer in the last five games, which has raised his slugging percentage from .474 to .507.
Finally, rookie catcher Will Smith got in on the action, going deep off Jerry Blevins to set the major league record. He’s been absolutely on fire as well with an .829 slugging percentage through 25 games and four homers in as many games.
Rounding out the 22 homers, shortstop Corey Seager homered in each of the three games against the Marlins, Edwin Rios went deep twice on Wednesday, Muncy hit two dingers and Matt Beaty and Kyle Garlick each knocked one out.
The Dodgers’ power and depth are built for the postseason
Six straight division titles, two straight World Series appearances and a random home run record only mean so much for the Dodgers without a title. They’re still looking to break a 31-year World Series drought.
But this Dodgers team may be the best yet — at least from an offensive standpoint. Although there's still a quarter of the season to play, the 2019 team has by far the best numbers since their division title streak started in 2013. Their .476 slugging percentage is 37 points higher than any other year, their .342 on-base percentage is 8 points higher than any other year, and they're on pace for 281 homers, which would be 46 more than any other season.
What makes this team even more impressive is their depth, which allows them to mix and match against lefties and righties. Chris Taylor and David Freese mash against lefties, while Joc Pederson and Matt Beaty crush righties. And best of all, Bellinger no longer has a platoon issue.
The way the Dodgers are hitting, it’s easy to see them powering their way toward another NL pennant.
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