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Dodgers: One Thing LA is Doing Better This Postseason Than Ever Before

Could this be what takes the Dodgers to the next level?



There feels something different about this 2020 Dodgers team. They’re obviously racking up the playoff wins early, but there’s something about the way they’re getting things done. A deeper dive into the numbers reveals one glaring difference from recent playoff failures. 

During their 2017 World Series run, the Dodgers hit a meager .226 with runners in scoring position. Not the worst mark over the last few years, but plenty of room for improvement. In 2018 during their latest World Series run, they hit just .192 with runners in scoring position. And last year, during their brief postseason run, they hit .135 with RISP. 

It’s a very small sample size for the 2020 postseason, but the early numbers are incredibly encouraging. Through 5 playoff wins, the Dodgers are hitting .314 with runners in scoring position. The Houston Astros are the only team remaining that are having similar success in that

Combine that with the fact that the Dodgers have one of the best pitching staffs left in the postseason, and you have the recipe for success. Coincidentally enough, only the Atlanta Braves have had more success out of their staff. Los Angeles will face them next in the National League Championship Series. 

Another slight improvement is that the Dodgers are getting the job done with 2 outs. They’re hitting .393 with RISP and 2 outs. The last time they were even close to that efficient was in 2014 when they put up a .292 batting average. 

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Dodgers: Your Chance to Cheer on the Team in the NLCS at Dodger Stadium Drive-In

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. We have seen Turner, Betts, Smith, Barnes, and Pollock all go with the pitch and many times hit to the opposite field with RISP.
    In past years the team would continue to swing for the fences. Is this because of the coaches,? Players like Betts and Turner preaching about getting on base and trusting your teammates? Or has the immensity of Globe Life Field got them to realize they have to play small ball?
    Whatever reason it is great to see. We all hope they keep it up.
    I said at the start of the year that Urias would emerge as a true Ace. Its been a very strange year. I am very glad that Urias has overcome his injuries and is showing baseball what an amazing young pitcher the Dodgers have.
    With Buehler, Urias, May, Gonsolin, Gonzalez & Graterol on the roster and White, Gray, and others on the Farm fighting to get to the show the Dodger Future is bright.

    • It’s a combination of the immense Globe Life Park that has Dodgers putting the ball in play, making more contact instead of swinging from the heels like in post seasons past. Also, so far in 5 post season games the pithing has kept all but 3 balls in the yard. IDK but something tells me their approach might have been a bit different had these games been played at DS.

  2. My comment right along has been, you can have the best pitcher in the league, but if you don’t hit in the clutch you are not going to make it.

  3. What I like about this 2020 LA Dodger team is that they are productive in two out rallies they find ways to score especially with RISP along with great starting pitching and relievers.

    Let’s Go LA Dodgers!

  4. In past years they depended on Pedersen and Hernandez along with Jansen. That has clearly changed with a ray of hope that Jansen will be a mop up guy and not closer.

    • i was hoping joc would figure it out but yeah….you are right about those three. the emergence of may, gonsolin, and urias with a much better pen is huge. temporarily may could be the closer with graterol setup. will smith has become a monster. belli and muncy are coming out of it and there is not an easy out 1-9. i like our chances!

  5. I have said this the past several years. Quit swinging for the fences at the wrong times. You need base runners or after a walk, move him around. Small ball will win this year. That double steal the other night was epic. I had to go piss my pants. Wonderful. That kinda ball is going to win this year, esp. in this stadium. Home Runs will be nice, but lets get em’ the old fashion way. GO BLUE!

  6. Remember slso that the Dodgers last WS win back in 1988, the team hit a TOTAL of 99 HRs thT year and won because Dodger pitching pretty much handled the A’s and kept that powerful lineup of theirs to only 2 HRs in 5 games. Dodgers themselves hit 5 HRs in those games but it was putting ball in play with RISP that made a difference.

  7. The one thing the Dodgers are doing better this postseason than in prior years is a guy named Mookie Betts, whose small ball mentality is influencing the entire team.. Small ball is taking advantage of every opportunity given to you, or just creating them. If you have runners in scoring position, a single or double will drive them in just as efficiently as a home run.

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