Mookie Betts joined fellow Dodgers superstar Clayton Kershaw on the injured list this week. Without question, a healthy Kershaw and a healthy Betts will be required if LA is going to repeat. There’s no replacing Betts in the lineup or in the field, but the Dodgers have plenty of firepower to keep fighting for the NL West title.
Don’t write off winning the division just yet because of the latest Betts injury.
The Dodgers Deep Lineup
Newly minted Dodger Trea Turner headlines an All-Star laden lineup that can pile up runs even without the 2018 AL MVP.
On Wednesday against the Phillies, the Dodgers deployed a batting order that most GMs would sell their grandmother (plus a PTBNL) for. The aforementioned Turner at the top (.883 OPS) with Max Muncy (156 wRC+) right behind him.
Then, Will Smith, arguably the second best hitting catcher in the league (.374 OBP), with Seager batting cleanup. Taylor (3.7 WAR), Bellinger (heating up!), and the scorching hot Pollock (.469 BA in August) rounded out one through seven.
That’s without Justin Turner too.
Hell, Matt Beaty, who hit eighth that day, would probably be batting cleanup for the Pirates right now.
A Pair of Dodgers Aces
Missing Kershaw until early September is also a big blow, but one that won’t completely torpedo the Dodgers. The Dodgers, despite all of the starting pitching challenges this year, has Max Scherzer and NL Cy Young frontrunner Walker Buehler (2.13 ERA in 147.2 IP).
Lefty Julio Urias (3.41 ERA in 134.2 IP) has been a solid number three this season. Veteran David Price isn’t a bad option to have at the back end either.
A fifth starter is needed, but the offense can bail out the staff when bullpen game catastrophes arise.
Catching the Giants in the division will be exceedingly difficult. The Giants hold a four and a half game advantage entering Friday. They don’t seem to give games away either. Against good teams or bad teams.
Winning a ninth straight division title just got harder for the Dodgers with Betts sidelined.
This talented roster is up to the challenge.