The Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins will be battling this week in a very intriguing midweek three game set that begins on Tuesday from LoanDepot Park in south Florida. The Dodgers lead the National League West at 84 wins and 52 losses. In fact, they have a commanding 14 game series lead on the second place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Marlins are at 70 wins and 67 losses, and trail the Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds by half a game for a playoff spot in the senior circuit.
One team expected, one team not expected
There is no doubt heading into the season, the Dodgers were expected to be not only a playoff contender, but a World Series contender. A year ago Los Angeles was at 111 wins and 51 losses, and even though their pitching staff is significantly different now compared to last season, the Dodgers are still the class of the National League West.
The Marlins meanwhile were not expected to contend for a playoff spot. Just last season, they were at 69 wins and 93 losses. But Miami got fortunate by the fact that the New York Mets took a zillion steps back this season and completely underachieved. As a result, the Marlins are a shocking seven games ahead of their divisional opponent, which won 101 games in 2022.
Who are the stars?
The Marlins and Dodgers have the two most consistent hitters in the National League. Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez of San Felipe, Venezuela leads Major League Baseball with a .356 batting average, and Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman of Villa Park, California is second in the National League with a .335 batting average. Arraez has 183 hits in 514 at bats, and Freeman has 181 hits in 540 at bats. The only player in the National League with more hits than Arraez and Freeman is Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who has 184 hits.
The other Dodgers offensive star is outfielder Mookie Betts of Nashville, Tennessee. He leads the National League with a .615 slugging percentage, is fourth in the National League with 38 home runs, is third in the National League with 99 runs batted in, and is fourth in Major League Baseball with 161 hits.