Los Angeles Dodgers: Three things to be wary about in 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21: Kenley Jansen #74 and Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers laugh on the field during batting practice before the game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21: Kenley Jansen #74 and Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers laugh on the field during batting practice before the game against the Washington Nationals at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Dodgers /

2. A struggling offense against southpaws

The Los Angeles Dodgers had one of the most powerful offenses in baseball last season and were only bested by the New York Yankees in home runs. While this provided a lot of great moments with the Dodgers circling the bases, it also caused frustration when the team could not execute the small things.

The power surge for the Dodgers was helped in large part to Max Muncy, who emerged from nothing and slugged 35 home runs. Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson added 25, Yasmani Grandal 24, Yasiel Puig 23, Enrique Hernandez 21, Matt Kemp 21, Chris Taylor 17, Justin Turner 14 and Manny Machado 13 as a Dodger.

You get the point.

If you look at that list, the most notable power hitters were left-handed bats. Four of those names are no longer on the Dodgers (unless Machado and/or Grandal re-sign, which is highly unlikely). And while the team is adding Corey Seager back, it creates a very uneven balance of left-handed hitters to right-handed hitters.

Seager fares just fine against southpaws but Bellinger, Muncy and Pederson are not great. Prospect Alex Verdugo is worse against left-handed pitching as well and potential signing Bryce Harper is also better against right-handed pitching.

The team essentially has to rely on Turner, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and David Freese to be the notable right-handed bats against left-handed pitching. While they each bring something to the table, we saw how ridiculous it was in the World Series to sit your best bats just because of a platoon.

Either the left-handed hitters need to get a better approach or the Dodgers need to trust in them more and get them accustomed to southpaws. Because when October comes, the Dodgers cannot afford to start David Freese, burn him by the fourth inning only for a southpaw reliever to come in and shut the Dodgers’ lefties down.