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If ex-MVP Cody Bellinger remains in groove, Dodgers are even more formidable

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 10/4/2022 Matthew Brown, Yardbarker
Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) seems to have found a groove as the playoffs approach. © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) seems to have found a groove as the playoffs approach.

Over the past three seasons, the Dodgers' Cody Bellinger has been unable to replicate his 2019 MVP campaign, when he slashed .305/.406/.629. Last season was especially tough for Bellinger, who went on the injured list April 6 with a hairline fracture in his left leg and missed seven weeks.

As the playoffs loom, Bellinger seems to have found a groove. In his past seven games -- a small sample size -- Bellinger is hitting .261/.240/.435. After he hit his 18th home run on Sept. 30, Bellinger talked about his recent success. 

“Honestly [I am] just staying within myself on an everyday basis, hitting the ball hard, seeing the ball well, focusing on the little things and the ball will find some holes eventually,” Bellinger said.

Bellinger made two trips to the IL last year and was unable to find a groove in his swing. He slashed .165/.240/.302 with only 10 homers in 95 games. However, once October came and the lights shined the brightest, so did Bellinger.

In 12 postseason games last year, Bellinger hit .353/.436/.471, the best slash line of his playoff career. With such a hot end to the season, Bellinger hoped to carry that momentum into this season, but that hasn't happened.

Bellinger has made slight improvements over his 2021 season, but not by much. In 141 games, Bellinger is back over the Mendoza Line, slashing .207/.263/.382. He is also striking out at a career-high 27 percent. 

His recent hot streak is a small sample size, but the best time to get hot is right before the playoffs. Bellinger has played most of the season hitting in the 7-9 spots. If he can remain hot, the Dodgers' already-powerful lineup becomes even deeper heading into playoffs.

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