Pittsburgh Pirates Prepare to Head West to Play Surging Dodgers

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 09: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds second base after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 9, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 09: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds second base after hitting a home run in the third inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 9, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 14: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his seventh inning home run with teammate Corey Seager #5 as Tomas Nido #3 of the New York Mets looks on at Citi Field on August 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 14: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his seventh inning home run with teammate Corey Seager #5 as Tomas Nido #3 of the New York Mets looks on at Citi Field on August 14, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Trying to limit the damage

When a team has a lineup as deep and talent as the Dodgers have no pitching staff can contain them for an entire series. The best you can do is to try and limit the damage which is what the Pittsburgh Pirates will have to attempt to do in the series.

The Dodgers rank second in MLB in runs scored (619) and on-base percentage (.339), fifth in home runs (165) and their 22.9% strikeout rate is just 19th in baseball. Having a lineup that possesses the power the Dodgers do, while also getting on base at the second best clip in baseball and not striking out a ton is difficult to assemble, but the Dodgers have done just that.

Eight Dodger batters (Turner, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Chris Taylor, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, A.J. Pollock, Corey Seager) have a wRC+ of at least 119. For reference, a league average hitter is a hitter with a wRC+ of 100. So, that means that eight Dodger batters have been at least 19 percent better than the league this year at the plate. Although, it should be noted that Betts is currently on the IL.

Additionally, utility man Matt Beaty has a wRC+ of 109. Since joining the team after being released by the Los Angeles Angels veteran slugger, and long-time Pirate killer, Albert Pujols has an identical 109 wRC+ as a member of the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have one of the greatest group of hitters ever assembled on one team. This makes them a handful for any pitching staff, but especially for a young, and largely struggling pitching staff such as that of the Pirates.

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