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Dodgers in June: Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, David Peralta shine in middling month

Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Dodgers had to rally with seven wins in their final nine games in June, but that only salvaged a so-so month that saw the team underwhelm in both pitching and hitting.

In all, the Dodgers were 12-12 during June, their first first non-winning month since May 2018. After beginning the month with the best record in the National League, the Dodgers ended June in second place in their own division, though still well within striking distance at two games behind Arizona.

Dodgers in June

12-12 record
126 runs scored (5.25 per game, 9th in MLB)
115 runs allowed (4.79 per game, 18th in MLB)
.542 pythagorean win percentage (13-11)

Year to date

46-35 record
445 runs scored (5.49 per game, 4th in MLB)
377 runs allowed (4.65 per game, 19th in MLB)
.575 pythagorean win percentage (47-34)

May ended with Trayce Thompson snapping a Los Angeles Dodgers record 0-for-39 skid, but June saw some droughts nearly as bad for Dodgers hitters.

Miguel Vargas had a 1-for-38 stretch before an RBI triple on Thursday in Colorado. Max Muncy had an 0-for-23 skid that was interrupted by missing 11 games on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. Muncy had just five hits in 45 at-bats in June, hitting .111/.259/.222 with a 43 wRC+.

Muncy slumping and missing time, plus Chris Taylor being limited to three plate appearances over the final 12 games of the month with right knee soreness didn’t help the offense.

None of the rookies — James Outman, Vargas, Jonny DeLuca, and Michael Busch — had an OPS over .570, with the quartet combining to hit .190/.271/.283 in 207 plate appearances during June.

David Peralta was an outlier on the positive side, hitting .365/.406/.556 with a 162 wRC+ in June, continuing his upward trend since April. He had at least one hit in 14 of his 17 starts.

Mookie Betts led the team with a 175 wRC+ during the month, both starting and ending his month with a four-hit, two-homer game. He reached base all five times on June 2 against the Yankees, and reached base a career-best six times on June 30 in Kansas City.

Betts in June hit .309/.398/.638, leading the team in OPS (1.037), slugging percentage, hits (29), home runs (nine), extra-base hits (13), stolen bases (five), runs scored (21), and RBI (22).

Though the last few days have revolved mostly around how the Dodgers will handle Clayton Kershaw’s left shoulder inflammation and the aftermath of Wednesday’s ensuing cortisone shot, the left-hander is coming off one of the best months of his career.

Three of Kershaw’s five starts during the month were scoreless, and he posted a 1.09 ERA in June, allowing only four runs in 33 innings, with 30 strikeouts and eight walks.

But the rest of the pitching staff had a 5.06 ERA, in a full month without Dustin May and Julio Urías. With Urías returning for the first day of July, and Daniel Hudson rejoining the bullpen on the final day of June, perhaps some stability will return going forward.

The Dodgers used 22 different pitchers in June, their most in a month since last September.

The month ahead

With the All-Star break looming and the off days it provides, the Dodgers play 23 games in July, 12 of which will be at home. No games against the National League West during the month, but the Dodgers in July do play 13 interleague games, with series against the Royals, Angels, Orioles, Rangers, and Blue Jays.