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Dodgers: Justin Turner’s Hot Start, Closer by Committee and More!

A full run of Dodgers topics on the latest 3 Up 3 Down podcast!



Before we get into the good stuff, we have to take a moment to recognize a great baseball moment. Last Sunday’s match-up between the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and the Nationals Max Scherzer might have been their last. The two Hall-of-Famers dominated the 2010s from the mound. They combined for six Cy Young awards, 15 All-Star appearances, and led the NL in WHIP eight times. Eight!

Considering Scherzer’s age and Kershaw’s free agency, this past Sunday could be the last time we see the two face off. Maybe they see each other in July when the Dodgers travel to the nation’s capital. Maybe they meet up in the playoffs, but neither of those are guarantees.

The separation between the two isn’t much. Scherzer has the better postseason resume, but Kershaw owns a Triple Crown, an MVP, and five ERA titles to Scherzer’s zero. Scherzer has more career strikeouts but is also three years Kershaw’s senior. Each of them own a championship ring. One of which is at the other’s expense.

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Justin Turner’s Fast Start

Veteran third baseman Justin Turner is off to a hot start at the plate in 2021. Through Monday, Turner was on track to match his career-best batting average through the first half of the season (.377 in 2017). In the games since, he’s ramped it up even more, sitting at a .440 average through play on Friday.

However, Turner’s average exit velocity this year (89.0 MPH) and BABIP (.462) are due to regress to the mean. Turner will have to start driving the ball more to maintain his lofty batting average. The LA playoff hero can certainly do just that.

Dodgers Closer by Committee?

Manager Dave Roberts appears to wants to insert Jansen into the ninth when he has ample rest. Could this be the year the Dodgers finally use a closer-by-committee approach? Veterans Corey Kenebel and Blake Treinen have proved that they can excel in high leverage situations. Note, that numbers in the video are from mid-week and don’t include any meltdowns in San Diego.

In order to keep Jansen fresh, and effective, cycling between all three relievers as closers may lead to the best outcomes.

NEXT: How Did Zach McKinstry Fall So Far Back in the 2016 Draft?

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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