Dodgers @ Rockies September 29, 2017: Last series of the regular season

(Via)

Well, here we are: the Dodgers (102-57) have arrived at the final weekend of the 2017 regular season. They have a two-game lead over Cleveland for the best record in baseball, which equals a magic number of one to guarantee home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

In a week, the Dodgers will be playing their first game of the National League Division Series at home against whoever wins the N.L. Wild Card game. That could very well be tonight’s opponent, the Rockies (86-73). However, Colorado still hasn’t actually clinched a wild card berth just yet. With three games left to go, their magic number for the second spot is two, as Milwaukee hangs on for dear life. The Boys In Blue will look to play spoiler, starting tonight with Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.47 ERA, 4.44 FIP, 4.58 DRA) on the mound.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:10 p.m. PT
Colorado
CF
Granderson
CF
Blackmon
SS
Seager
2B
LeMahieu
3B
Turner
3B
Arenado
1B
Bellinger
SS
Story
RF
Puig
1B
Reynolds
LF
Ethier
RF
González
C
Grandal LF Desmond
2B
Forsythe
C
Lucroy
P
Ryu (L)
P
Bettis (R)

Ryu is coming off an outing that he exited from early after a comeback line drive struck his pitching forearm. He’s since played catch and thrown a side session, and is apparently feeling well enough to make this start, a final look before the postseason.

Ryu has pitched against the Rockies three times this year, and two times at Coors Field. His first start of the season was in Colorado on April 7, and while his results of two runs on six hits and a walk weren’t bad, he lasted just four and two-thirds innings. When Ryu pitched at Coors again on May 11, he allowed 10 runs (though only five earned) on eight hits and six walks in just four innings.

Starting for the Rockies is Chad Bettis (5.72 ERA, 5.32 FIP, 6.04 DRA), who pitched against the Dodgers earlier this month in Los Angeles. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in five innings, in a game the Rockies eventually won, 6-5. Bettis’ season has been short due to his battle with testicular cancer, but in limited playing time, he’s fared considerably better at home than on the road this year — his OPS allowed more than 100 points lower at Coors than in other ballparks. (This trend does not apply to the rest of his career, though.)

The right-handed Bettis will see a lineup with a lot of lefties in it, including Curtis Granderson, playing center and batting leadoff, and Andre Ethier, starting in left field.

——

Chris Taylor is not starting tonight, but he did some agility drills earlier this afternoon and is feeling much better:

This is very good news, as a healthy Taylor in the lineup is likely going to be crucial for the Dodgers in the postseason.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s bullpen game, we now know who won’t be starting, and we have one possibility as to who might:

Both Ross Stripling and Brandon McCarthy remain question marks for the postseason roster.

Looking further ahead to the first game of the NLDS, here’s news that ought to surprise absolutely no one:

Also not especially surprising is Dave Robertsreluctance to name any starters beyond Kershaw just yet. For now, though, Roberts is claiming Kershaw won’t pitch on short rest in a potential Game 4:

Gee, never heard that before.

The Dodgers called up Tim Locastro today, a 25-year-old utility man who split the season between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City:

Locastro, a 2013 Blue Jays 13th-round draft pick, slashed .308/.383/.454 between levels this season. He’s listed as a reserve on today’s lineup card.

With the good news for Locastro comes some bad news for O’Koyea Dickson:

Get well soon, O’Koyea.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.