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The Dodgers’ Lineup: What It Should Look Like

The craziness of Dave Roberts’ lineup construction has continued to surprise.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Andrew Friedman, the President of Baseball Operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers, looks on with manager Dave Roberts during team workouts on October 3, 2018, one day before the 2018 National League Division Series kicks off between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

The Dodgers have quite the lineup and collection of offensive players. Manager Dave Roberts is doing something right by not sticking to one distinct lineup everyday. It has worked for multiple years. The offense is on a historic pace at this point and so is the defense. Still, with a little bit more of proper lineup construction, the team could get even BETTER offensively. Here is how:

For the sake of this article, let’s assume that the roster includes Martin and Smith as the catchers. It has CT3, Kiké, Muncy, Turner, Freese, and Seager. In the outfield, it has Dugie, Belli, Pollock, and Joc. The thirteenth man is most likely Austin Barnes or Matt Beaty.

Against RHP

Get Kiké Hernandez out of the lineup against right-handed pitching like yesterday. The guy just can’t hit them and his defensive value is not nearly enough to warrant his well below-average bat against that handedness of pitching. David Freese needs more at-bats against right-handed pitching, but still needs occasional rest. Here is my lineup, with everyone healthy, against righties:

  1. Joc Pederson LF
  2. Alex Verdugo CF
  3. Justin Turner 3B
  4. Cody Bellinger RF
  5. Corey Seager SS
  6. Max Muncy 2B
  7. Matt Beaty 1B
  8. Will Smith C

Bench: Russell Martin, David Freese, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, AJ Pollock

If you disagree, let me know in the comments. Having the right-handed bats of the latter four guys is integral for late game situations. Something even more important to note is the amount of versatility on the bench with the presence of Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor.

Against LHP

The presence of so many amazing left-handed bats makes things interesting when it comes to lineup construction. This is my best effort at putting a formidable lineup together:

  1. Alex Verdugo CF
  2. Corey Seager SS
  3. Justin Turner 3B
  4. Cody Bellinger RF
  5. David Freese 1B
  6. Max Muncy 2B
  7. AJ Pollock LF
  8. Russell Martin C

Bench: Will Smith, Matt Beaty, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez, Joc Pederson

It is very hard to put the hot-hitting Chris Taylor on the bench against lefties, but the guys in front of him all deserve to be there. He could potentially be switched in for Alex Verdugo, but even then you take a guy of Dugie’s caliber out of the lineup. If only one of them could catch, right? You keep a lot of versatility off the bench either way and could always mix each player (outside of Pederson) on any given day. That is the nature of the Dodgers’ current roster construction. Everyone can mix and match. It is awesome and a wholly underrated asset and dimension to the 2019 club.

Overall

Yeah, Dave Roberts is not going to do this. Probably. Maybe not. Still, this is a set of options that could potentially be great for the Dodgers and help them improve even more on a historic offensive season. Only time will tell who the odd man out is when everyone is healthy.

Let us know in the comments what you would do with the Dodgers lineup!

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

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  1. Watching every game I had exactly the same thoughts. Kiki has for years been some kind of favored player even though he has never really hit that well. He has a few clutch home runs I get that but day to day he should be a fill in. There are players in the minors who are better and he’s so redundant with Chris Taylor around. Verdugo is a batting champion in the making, He should never come out. Plus Muncy is for real. Not sure Pederson should bat first maybe it’s a personal thing and that’s what gives him confidence. Will Smith has to play over the non hitting catchers. Overall sitting Kiki or just getting rid of him, giving Verdugo a Bellinger like status never coming out and sake get a catcher who can hit in there, Will Smith.

  2. I don’t agree with Muncy at second base. It’s my opinion that he should primarily at first and at third when Turner needs a day off. Stop the Joc Pederson experiment at first base. Defense must also be a priority. Trade Pollock for a reliever, what were they thinking when they signed him? Verdugo has earned the centerfield job. I could go on but without an upgraded bullpen winning the World Series is pie in the sky.

    • All the talk about how great our offense is bothers me. We dont play our hot bats enough for them to groove longer term. I hate these 9 inning last minute wins. If our offense was more consistent, we wouldn’t need these last gasp things. Because our offense is explosive at times, it kind of over inflates the bottom line. Here’s what I would do; JPede gets traded for bullpen help. Seager back to SS when he’s healthy, CT3 2nd base full time. Pollock to center, Verdugo to LF. Waive Barnes and bring up Will Smith for good after the ASB.
      Moonshot is our 1B.

      Capiche?

      • Turners age is starting to show his power is starting to disappear keep muncy fulltime at first freese can share time at third with aging turner,keep taylor fulltime at second corey at short when he comes back Joc left field Verdugo in center future gold glove and batting champion Belle already mvp and gold glove in right Kike supersub and get rid of pollock.and Have Roberts stop making stupid experiments and decisions come world series times.also time to have Julio back as a starter strippling back to bullpen.Julio is an ace he’s ready stop babying him surgery 3 years ago He”s ready.

  3. Pollack in center Verdugo in left. Munch at 1st and Taylor at 2nd while he is hot. Freeze fills in for days off. Pederson when Pollack gets hurt again! If Taylor goes cold Muncy to 2nd and Freese or Elbert at 1st. Must get a Reliever!!!

  4. Against lefties, you play CT 3 at second, move Muncy to first with Freese on the bench. Seager, JT will need rest and you play Freese then at first and CT 3 can move back into short or Muncy moving to third.

  5. We are blessed with a team that has so much depth and thus I agree with many of the comments above. I agree the Joc (1B) and Kike (starting at anywhere) experiments should be wrapped up in anticipation of the return of Freese and Pollack. Kike should be a RH bat off the bench, a utility player and a late inning defensive replacement. Joc should be committed to LF and unless Pollack is to be dealt, platoon all the OF players so even Belli gets a rest every few days. Taylor shores up the middle infield and should be in the lead-off spot up against LHP. They need to take more advantage of his speed. I still don’t understand why this team doesn’t take more advantage of its speed and do such things as bunt and steal more often. I’d especially like to see more bunting against the shift.

  6. For those calling for Barnes to be sent down, I don’t think he has any options left. If so, that’s a great idea. Otherwise, use him as part of a package to get bullpen help. Smith should be starting at least 75 percent of the time by now. I like Pollock in LF against lefties. I also like the idea of keeping the platooning to a bare minimum. Also, as history has dictated, there will be more injuries to deal with and guys like CT and Kike will get their opportunities. I really can’t disagree too much with this writer’s opinions.

    • I’m pretty sure i just read a couple weeks ago that Barnes has one option left. He should be trade bait and bring up the Prince of L.A.

    • I just read a week ago that Barnes has one option left. Even so i wouldn’t send him down. It wont do any good. I say send him away in a trade with others for a reliever and bring up The Fresh Prince of LA. Barnes has one hot streak in the last 3 years. His framing behind the plate is the only thing that keeps him here because the starters trust him and have gotten used to him being behind the plate. Pitchers don’t like you messing with their routines. Even so there’s time to give Smith a chance to win these starters over. I agree with most comments although I believe David Freese deserves to be an every day starter the way his bat has been. Even against right handed pitching.Our biggest flaw is still the inconsistency of the bullpen. We need help there big time.

  7. We are blessed with riches!!!!! What a lovely “problem” to have!!!!! One could make a case to bench Kiki and Pollock and use them only sparingly. Kiki is a true supersub. Pollock can ride the pine until he earns his way on to the lineup. I would like Will Smith behind the plate. Barnes has little utility unless we need a spare second baseman, and that will not happen often. I like Joc in left; AV in center, and Belles in right. Big Red at third; Corey at short; CT3 at second; and Mad Max at first; Smith behind the plate. No platooning. These men play every day!!!!!! That is an extended lineup, positions one through eight. Go Blue!!!!

    • Right on, BLUE LOU! Greetings from myself and PD Jr. Why Taylor, a current hot bat was on the bench last night was beyond me. Now keep in mind, that this lineup shuffling day to day is good enough with the competition we have in the regular season. However, against an elite AL club with a powerful “normal” lineup and elite pitching , this system of Dodger’s will not get us a ring

      • I agree with you totally, Paul. Like you, the platooning is really annoying me!!!! And with a September callup of minor league players, more lineup shuffling will occur. To get to a WS for three consecutive years, and not win one, is most disheartening. We still could use a right-handed bat, a quality reliever, and possibly a starter who can slide in until Hill returns. Have a Happy 4th, PD Jr.!!!!! Go Blue!!!

  8. All I know is that both lineups make sense and I need to understand how, HOW, Austin Barnes still has a job at the major league level! Will Smith!!

  9. Barnes should be sent down to see if he can regain his offensive form of 2017 and catch Smith the majority of games. When Seager, Pollock and Freese all come back, soon I hope, the bench should be Martin, Freese, Kike and Taylor . The only platoon, I would have is Pederson in LF with Taylor or Kike. Beaty has earned his way, but probably will be optioned until September as I don’t see them carrying a 5 man bench. For the rest of this year, the OF should be Pederson except when platooned in LF, Pollock in CF (if healthy and hitting) and Verdugo in RF. Bellinger goes back to 1B with the rest of the IF of Muncy, Seager and Turner.

    Maybe Bellinger goes back to OF next year, as Lux should take over at 2B with Muncy moving to 1B. Of course Lux is another LH bat, will be interesting to see what happens after 2020 when Turner becomes a FA. Does Seager move to 3B with Lux taking over SS? Or they stay put and Muncy goes to 3B? At some point in the next year or two, they probably need to get more RH-LH balanced. Since Bellinger, Seager, Muncey and Verdugo and Lux shouldn’t be going anywhere, then probably Pederson will be moving on. Downs and Esteves are 2B prospects who re showing promise as RH hitters. Sorry, I kind of got ahead of today’s question regarding this year’s lineups.

  10. I’m not worried look what they have done the 1st half of the season. They will do what they need to do because they are World Series bound.

  11. I like your thought process and I have always hated the way Roberts is always tinkering with the lineup. As good as the Dodgers are, I believe they can be even better with a more stable lineup. I would 100% send down Barnes or trade him. When you have other catchers waiting in the minors, you can not keep giving away his lack of offense. At this point, I would like to see Beaty of Rios as the 13th man.

  12. Dodgers don’t carry 13 non pitchers. I agree Barnes should not be on major league roster. Agree kike and joc could be moved to make room for lux, Beatty and get relievers

  13. Thankfully, none of you fans call the shots. Set lineups are passe. What’s great about Roberts’ method is that everyone plays and no one is relegated to the bench. You can’t argue with success, which is what Friedman and Roberts have brought to the Dodgers on a continual basis.

    Suggestion: Instead of whining and pretending to know more than AF and DR, why not just pull up a chair and enjoy this fabulous team? In my 52 years as a Dodger fan, this is the best it’s ever been.

  14. Leave Joc as a fulltime starter he’ll get used to lefthanded pitching and he’ll hit 45 plus hrs every year and he’s playing great defense too,eat pollock’s contract or trade him Verdugo is way much better than him he’ll kike,taylor also are better tnan him.Friedman won’t accept it but he keeps making stupid deals.The money wasted on pollock should have gone to better relievers.MAKE JOC A REGULAR!

  15. If dodgers don’t win world series it will be a big failure for the third time then roberts has to go and get a real manager that doesn’t micro manage.bring Sciocia

  16. It amusing that people want to take the players that aren’t performing and trade them for bullpen help… if they’re not performing, they have no trade value!! It’s not like the Indians are going to trade Brad Hand for Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes and Kike Hernandez…

    While Taylor has picked it up since Seager went down, I don’t think this stretch of good play will make up for his struggles last year or the beginning of this year to get a good trade. But, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t carry some value for the Dodgers. He can spot start at multiple positions and has been serviceable while Seager has been down. Same thing with Kike, while I was rooting for him when he won the 2b job, it’s clear that while his glove can play everyday, his bat can’t. So, clearly he should be a utility player who spot starts around the diamond to give regulars a day off, still though, kinda hard to overlook a utility guy that has a glove as good as Kike’s and who has some pop.

  17. I’ve been saying it all year. Put Verdugo in the leadoff spot and we hit another gear. Will Smith at catcher is a no brainer. Speaking of Gavin Lux, the way he’s hitting, he may be at 2nd sooner then you think.

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