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Dodgers offense is clicking in its highest gear

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Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers offense continues to plug along, powering their recent run of success. After a 12-run outburst in the series opener they get one more shot at the Rangers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

In June the Dodgers are hitting .298/.370/.628, topping the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS (.997), home runs (29) and runs scored (84), while settling for third in doubles (24) and fourth in walks (41).

The Dodgers as a team are slugging .628 this month. Six twenty eight.

Their 29 home runs in June are eight more than the next-best team (Seattle), and Joc Pederson‘s seven home runs this month are more than the Nationals. Cubs, Pirates, Mets, Tigers and White Sox. Max Muncy is right behind with six home runs, including one in each of the last four games.

The Dodgers’ franchise record for home runs in a month is 53, set last June, and they have 16 more games this month to take a shot at breaking it.

After scoring eight or more runs five times in the first two months of the season the Dodgers have done so six times in 10 tries in June, including four games scoring double-digit runs.

Highest-scoring 10-game runs in Dodgers history

Year City Best 10-game stretch
Year City Best 10-game stretch
1950 Brooklyn 99
1953 Brooklyn 97
1930 Brooklyn 87
1951 Brooklyn 86
2018 Los Angeles 84
1949 Brooklyn 84
1941 Brooklyn 84
Source: Baseball-Reference

The Dodgers’ offensive surge in June is one of the best in franchise history. In the World Series era (1903-present) only four Dodgers teams have had better 10-game stretches, all in Brooklyn: 1930, 1950, 1951 and 1953. The 1950 team had the best 10-game run, scoring 99.

But the run for the Dodgers started well before June. After an atrocious 16-26 start the Dodgers have won 18 of their last 24 games, the best record in baseball since May 17. They are averaging 6.08 runs per game during that span, also best in the majors. The only team within three quarters of a run per game of the Dodgers during that time is Houston, at 5.61 runs per contest.

Pitching matchups

Kenta Maeda will get the start for the Dodgers on Wednesday, returning after missing two weeks with a right hip strain. Maeda’s last start was May 29.

The Dodgers will face Cole Hamels, who is making his first Dodger Stadium appearance since 2014. He’s 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA in five career starts in Los Angeles, including a pair of NLCS wins in 2008 and 2009.

Hamels has lasted at least six innings in each of his last six starts and in nine of his last 10 outings. He has also allowed two home runs in each of his last four starts, and only two major league pitchers have given up more home runs than Hamels (17) this season. One of them started for Texas in Tuesday’s series opener, and the Dodgers tagged Bartolo Colon for three of his 19 long balls in 2018.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network