As the Los Angeles Dodgers head into the postseason as a proverbial favorite again, Cody Bellinger is getting hot at just the right time.
The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their eighth straight NL West title on Tuesday night. Cody Bellinger extended his hitting streak to seven games too, but the 2019 National League MVP’s overall numbers are still not great this year (.239/.326/.443, 11 home runs, eight doubles, 28 RBI).
Bellinger has become a elite defensive outfielder in short order, and after a slow start at the plate (.565 OPS over his first 24 games) he hit well through the rest of August (.317/.417/.683 slash-line). Then he went hitless in four of his first six games in September, as the hot streak subsided for a bit. He has a hit in 10 of 11 games since then though, with a .359/.457/.513 slash-line over that span.
After Tuesday night’s 2-for-2 with a double, two walks and an RBI against Oakland, Bellinger’s OPS over his last nine games is now over 1.000 with an ISO near .200 (.194) and wRC+ of 198 over that span (via FanGraphs).
Bellinger will be key to any Dodgers postseason run
The Dodgers have mostly followed each of their division titles with a disappointing postseason exit, reaching the NLCS four of the previous seven times and the World Series twice (2017 and 2018). They haven’t won a World Series since 1988, and this short season followed by an expanded postseason creates all sorts of possibilities for the unexpected.
The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, and they will be the top seed in the National League. So the road to what will be a bubble World Series goes through them in the Senior Circuit. If Bellinger can keep his current hot streak (and a good run at the plate for the better part of a month now) going, the Dodgers may finally get over the playoff hump this year.