Hanley Ramirez is the hottest hitter on the planet.
The shortstop went 3-for-4 with a home run and three total RBI in the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday night in Los Angeles and is now batting .383/.424/.700 in 66 plate appearances since his return on June 4 from a severe hamstring strain.
And the numbers are even better if you zoom in.
Ramirez has 20 hits — five home runs and three doubles — in his last 44 plate appearances for a batting line of .500/.545/.950. He has also stolen two bases and scored 10 runs in that 12-game span.
The Dodgers are six games under .500 and own a putrid -51 run differential, but they’re only five games back of the Diamondbacks in the National League West standings. That division is up for grabs.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.