The Los Angeles Dodgers split their opening weekend series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Arizona was likely content to split a difficult road series versus Los Angeles. The Dodgers had some highs and some lows during the series. Although we are only four games into the 2023 season, there are already some interesting takeaways from this Dodgers ball club.
Let’s take a look at three major opening weekend takeaways from the Dodgers.
Dodgers’ pitching steals the show
One thing is clear: The Dodgers will go as far as their pitching takes them.
Julio Urias, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, and Noah Syndergaard all impressed during their performances. They didn’t all earn wins, as the Dodgers’ offense dealt with inconsistency, but all four pitchers turned in strong performances on the mound.
Dustin May had the longest outing of his career, spinning seven quality innings of shutout baseball in what ended up being a no-decision. He only struck out four hitters, but was incredibly efficient. May’s 2023 outlook is extremely bright without question.
Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw both fared well, which is expected for both star left-handers. Meanwhile, Syndergaard performed well in his no-decision on Sunday.
The Dodgers’ bullpen wasn’t quite as reliable, but still looked sharp for the most part. It is clear that Los Angeles’ pitching is going to carry them in 2023.
Offense will have drastic ups and downs
The Dodgers’ opening weekend offensive performance is a great indicator of how things may be this year. Los Angeles scored eight runs in their Opening Day win and just one run in the second game of the season. They followed that up by scoring 10 runs on Saturday and only one run on Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers won both games where their offense came alive. This lineup is going to have some drastic ups and downs in 2023.
For starters, they are counting on a number of young players such as Miguel Vargas and James Outman. They both played well this past weekend, but rookies are prone to dealing with their share of struggles during a full campaign.
Max Muncy and Chris Taylor are former All-Stars with high ceilings. However, both of their floors are fairly low.
The Dodgers’ offense isn’t what it was last year. It isn’t always going to give the team a chance to win. In the end, the lineup will still have it’s share of games where they score a massive number of runs, but it won’t be on a consistent basis.
We can expect ups and downs all year long. Fortunately, they will be able to lean on their veterans.
Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, and veterans will keep Dodgers afloat
The Dodgers are going to be good this season. Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw both gave the Dodgers chances to win this past weekend. Kershaw ultimately earned a victory, while Betts homered and made a number of impressive defensive plays.
The Dodgers may not be as strong as they were in 2022, when they won 111 games. There is going to be some inconsistency at times this year. But the fact is that the veterans will be the key to keeping them afloat. We discussed the contributions of Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw, but other players such as Freddie Freeman, Julio Urias, Will Smith and JD Martinez will help to lead the ball club as well.
There’s no question that they will be a very interesting team to follow throughout the year.
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