Dodgers @ Rockies June 3, 2018: Wood vs. Bettis

After an improbable Dodgers slugfest, the team handily took the series against the Rockies last night by a score of 12-4. Alex Wood (3.75 ERA/ 3.20 FIP/ 2.50 DRA) and the Dodgers (28-30) go for the sweep against Chad Bettis (3.68/4.30/3.76) and the Rockies (30-28). The Dodgers look to continue their recent run, going 12-4 in their last 16 and taking four of five against Colorado this season. Also, they’re undefeated in June. The consecutive losses for the Rockies have put the Diamondbacks back into first place at 30-27, putting the Dodgers 2.5 back. After the blowout last night, the Dodgers (+34) now own the seventh best run differential in the league, tied with the 37-22 Milwaukee Brewers. That’s fine. A win today will get the Dodgers back to just one game below .500 for the first time since April 28.

Dodgers
Rockies
12:10 p.m.
Denver, CO.
SS
Taylor
2B
LeMahieu
3B
Turner
CF
Blackmon
C
Grandal
3B
Arenado
LF
Kemp
SS
Story
1B
Muncy
LF
Desmond
RF
Puig
RF
Cuevas
CF
Pederson C Iannetta
2B
Forsythe
1B
McMahon
P
Wood (R)
P
Bettis (R)

The Dodgers use yet another different lineup today, and that makes it their 58th different lineup in game number 59. Their only lineup that repeated exactly featured Alex Verdugo, Tim Locastro, and Kyle Farmer. Joc Pederson starts in center after his four hit game yesterday. Pederson had a rough first two weeks, but has a 138 wRC+ and .870 OPS since 4/16. That includes a scorching 184 wRC+ and 1.062 OPS over the last two weeks. He’s up to a 119 wRC+ on the season, which is ahead of Giancarlo Stanton (114), Gary Sanchez (109), Didi Gregorius (109), and Anthony Rizzo (108). Joc back? Unfortunately, you can only apparently have one young left-handed power hitter at a time as Max Muncy starts in front of Cody Bellinger today because baseball is terrible and cares not for your Rookie of the Year Award.

——

Out of 86 starters with 60+ innings, the advantage looks goes to Alex Wood.

Bettis and Wood are each coming off their second worst starts of the season. Wood allowed five runs over 5.1 innings and after giving up just four homers on the year, he gave up three in that start alone. Bettis gave up five runs on 10 hits through six innings in his last start. Bettis overall has been solid for the Rockies, sitting 90-92 MPH with his fastball. He pairs it with three off-speed pitches in a slider, curve and changeup. The right-handed Bettis is a reverse-splits guy, with right-handed hitters producing better against him (.852 OPS), than LHB (.730) over the course of his career. The same holds true this season as he’s held LHB to a .619 OPS, compared to a .771 OPS for righties.

A ton of things go into the makeup of a pitcher, but some similarities between the todays’ two starters exist. Bettis throws his changeup 26.8% of the time, the fourth most of all starters behind only Sean Manaea, Kyle Hendricks, and Wood. Wood throws his slider more than Bettis, but their hard vs. breaking ratios are pretty similar. Wood throws 43.7% sinkers, compared to 44.3% fastballs for Bettis. Naturally, this means that 56.3% of the pitches Wood throws are off-speed, slightly ahead of Bettis at 55.7%. Those off-speed usage rates rank only behind Lance McCullers and Matt Boyd. I wouldn’t call them “junk-ballers”, but they’re approaching that area. Wood has also generated 47.2% ground balls and 31.5% fly balls, compared to 47.0% and 31.7% for Bettis which is eerily similar. Now, that’s all fun but put that aside and Wood is simply the superior pitcher. He strikes out more, his command is better, and he has a better history of strong performance. The advanced stats still really like Wood, and he looks to bounce back from his five run outing against the Padres. Also of note, as neither team will see many fastballs from the opposing starter I looked into how each team has fared against off-speed stuff but found no likely advantage —— they’re tied for 12th in wOBA at .271.

——

Bellinger is slumping, and luckily the main options to cover for him in Muncy and Pederson are playing very well. Hopefully Bellinger and the team figure it out soon.

First pitch is at 12:10 on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. I'm currently studying at Moorpark Community College and plan on transferring into UC Santa Cruz's Business/Economics/Computer Science program. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.