Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers will feature one of the most talented lineups in MLB history during the 2022 season, with star hitters from the leadoff spot to the nine hole.
Currently, L.A. has 11 players projected for at least league average production, including six of them at All-Star to MVP levels.
With that many great players, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will have no shortage of lineup combinations to choose from each game. But there is also a benefit to having some consistency with a set batting order.
While there will likely be nightly changes in the bottom half of the order, Roberts has already penciled in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner into the top three spots of the Dodgers lineup, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
He has settled on one thing already – Mookie Betts will hit leadoff followed by Freddie Freeman and then Trea Turner.
“It’s not set in stone but it’s certainly the way I’m thinking right now,” Roberts said before Betts made his first Cactus League start on Friday night. “I think that just Mookie’s comfort level to get the lineup going, to hit at the top, Trea’s ability to drive runs in, to get on base, his openness, and then also I think that Freddie in between those guys I think is important – to have the right-left-right-left potentially with Max Muncy right there it just poses a lot of problems for opposing teams.”
Although Turner is often considered as the ideal leadoff hitter with his ability to steal 30 to 40 bases each season, Roberts also opted to leave Betts in the leadoff spot last season after the team acquired Turner.
“I like the way that Mookie sees more pitches. His DNA is to get on base, and that dynamic of getting on base sets it up for everyone else in the order,” Roberts said late last year. “Trea is much more a free swinger, gets on base by way of getting hits. So that kind of bat to ball, doubles, some homers, will create some run production from him.”
Along with Betts’ ability to work the count and a focus of getting on base, he has previously said he’s much more comfortable when hitting leadoff.
Aside from the talent the Dodgers have, navigating their lineup will be a headache for opposing managers and pitchers with the balance of right- and left-handed hitters with no more than two of the same-handed batters consecutively order.
What will the Dodgers full lineup look like?
Last Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres provided a likely glimpse into what Roberts is thinking for the lineup, with his top three followed by Max Muncy in the cleanup spot, and then Will Smith, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock.
Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor would then split time with each other in the nine spot as hybrid starter/utility players based on matchups and what position they need filled that night when another starting player fills the designated hitter role.
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