Monday, April 22, 2024

Dodgers' Big Three: Big, But Rarely Big Together

No, not this Big Three.

THIS Big Three!

Much has been made about the Dodgers' Big Three at the top of our lineup, and it's no wonder: they're the only guys in our lineup consistently hitting (though Will Smith makes a strong case for re-naming it "The Big Four"). Here's the stats so far:

Betts: .355 BA, 1.103 OPS
Ohtani: .368 BA, 1.094 OPS
Freeman: .287 BA, .797 OPS
Smith: .346 BA, .853 OPS

Everyone else in the lineup has an average at or below .258 (Teoscar Hernandez, who went 1-for-9 in the series with the Mets, including at least two ABs leaving the bases loaded), with many of the players closer to .100 batting averages than .200. In other words, if not for these three (or four) dudes, we'd be toast.

But here's your fun fact of the day: through the Dodgers' first 24 games, the Big Three have only gotten consecutive hits twice this season--and only in yesterday's win over the Mets did these consecutive hits yield at least one run.

In fact, in the Sunday April 21 10-0 win over the New York Mets, it was the first time all year that Betts, Ohtani, Freeman, and Smith (the Big Four) all got consecutive hits--opening up a mammoth eight-run fifth inning that put the game way out of reach, and finally showed what might happen if this team lived up to its true offensive potential.

The only other time the Big Three stitched consecutive hits together this year, was on March 30 vs. the Cardinals, when we led off the game with three singles, only to strand everyone with consecutive strikeouts from Will Smith, Max Muncy, and Teoscar Hernandez. (The Dodgers are second in the majors in strikeouts with 226, only behind the Boston Red Sox.)

It might be too much to ask for the bottom of the lineup to hit closer to the league average. So maybe we'll need to see more strings of consecutive hits at the top of the order, if we want to notch some more victories.