Angels @ Dodgers, August 1, 2015: Clayton Kershaw, Maybe

Day game! Today’s broadcast is on Fox Sports 1 and not blacked out in the LA area. Enjoy.

Angels
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
RF
Victorino
SS
Rollins
2B
Giavotella
2B
Kendrick
CF
Trout
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Pujols
LF
Van Slyke
SS
Aybar
RF
Puig
C
Perez
C
Grandal
LF
De Jesus
3B
Guerrero
3B
Featherson
CF
Hernandez
P
Heaney (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

Even now, who you’ll be watching pitch in a few minutes is still something of a mystery. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to go for the third game in a row. Alex Wood is the backup plan if Kershaw is scratched. Less than an hour before game time, it’s unclear if his hip will cause him to miss today’s start or not (mostly because I don’t trust that he’s actually going until he actually goes). This is why people who claim that the Dodgers “lost the deadline” are missing the whole point: Adding both Mat Latos and Alex Wood instead of one starter with more impact means that Mike Bolsinger becomes perfectly acceptable starting pitcher depth, rather than the scramble that would have taken place if Kershaw has a longer term problem. Hopefully Bolsinger’s not needed for awhile, though.

If Kershaw does go today, it will be the first time a reigning MVP will pitch against the other reigning MVP in the regular season. That’s pretty cool, though it’s also misleading – only two pitchers have won the MVP award since interleague play started in 1997.

Joc Pederson is getting a second consecutive game off against another lefty. A “mental break,” as the Dodgers are calling it, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, not to mention that Enrique Hernandez can more than hold his own against southpaws. Using Fangraphs’ split projection tool, Pederson is projected to produce a .280 wOBA against left-handed pitchers and Hernandez is projected to produce a .288 wOBA. The overall projections are probably low for each player, but so far in his young career Hernandez has crushed lefties (163 wRC+ in 77 PA). Of course, a lot of that is given back on defense, where Pederson is much better, but this is two days off and not a strict platoon.

Andrew Heaney is going today for the Angels. With Howie Kendrick having a down year (mostly due to one-year defensive stats, so don’t trust it much), Heaney’s performance so far this year stings a bit for Dodger fans. In six starts, Heaney has allowed just a 1.79 ERA. He has been pretty lucky; his FIP is over 3 and his xFIP is 3.57. In the American League, however, even those higher peripherals are very good (77 FIP-, 91 xFIP-). He’s not missing many bats so far, but he has only walked 3.3% of the batters he has faced. It’s a departure from his minor league numbers (6.6% walk rate in AAA last year, 7.1% this year), but it’s still an encouraging sign for his future.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.