Is the Dodgers’ leadoff trio the best in MLB history?
- Senior writer ESPN Magazine/ESPN.com
- Analyst/reporter ESPN television
- Author of “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty”
Mookie Betts was on still on the injured list when he initiated the most consequential conversation of the Dodgers’ 2022 season, walking up to manager Dave Roberts in the dugout during a June game with a question. “What are you going to do with the lineup?” Betts wanted to know, referring to the arrangement of the top three hitters in the lineup.
The next day, Roberts invited Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman onto the two chairs and the couch in his small office at Dodger Stadium, and he asked for their input. The feedback helped Roberts design what is arguably the most effective 1-2-3 combination for any team — ever.
This is the thrust of the analytics: With Betts hitting leadoff, Turner in the No. 2 spot and Freeman batting third, the Dodgers have three players who rank in baseball’s top 10 in WAR — and, as Sarah Langs of MLB.com notes, this would be the first time in baseball history that the top three hitters of any particular lineup accomplished that together.
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