Mookie Betts was still on the injured list when he started the most important conversation of the 2022 Dodgers season by approaching coach Dave Roberts in the dugout during a June game with a question. What are you going to do with the squad? Betts wanted to know, referring to the placement of the top three hitters in the lineup.

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The next day, Roberts invited Betts, Traya Turner, and Freddie Freeman to two chairs and a couch in his small office at Dodger Stadium and asked their opinions. The feedback helped Roberts develop arguably the most effective 1-2-3 combination for any team.

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That’s the crux of the analytics: with Betts leading, Turner in second, and Freeman batting third, the Dodgers have three players in the top 10 in baseball in WAR — and, as MLB.com’s Sarah Langs points out, this would be the first time in baseball history that the top three hitters of any particular line-up have achieved this together.