Dodgers @ Brewers July 21, 2018: Wood vs. Suter

After a disappointing loss last night, the Dodgers (54-44) look to bounce back with a series win today against the Brewers (56-44). The Dodgers will send Alex Wood (3.92 ERA/3.47 FIP/3.19 DRA) against Brent Suter (4.39/4.32/4.57). Wood has had a very inconsistent year, but has definitely been better as of late. He looks to continue his stretch of good form against a tough Brewers offense. Manny Machado is still looking for his first homer as a Dodger, and has a good shot against Suter who has been prone to giving up the long ball (16 HR in 98 IP).

Dodgers
Brewers
11:10 AM
Milwaukee
LF
Taylor
RF
Broxton
SS
Machado
LF
Yelich
3B
Turner
CF
Cain
1B
Muncy
1B
Braun
RF
Kemp
3B
Shaw
CF
Hernandez
SS
Saladino
2B
Forsythe 2B Perez
C
Barnes
C
Pina
P
Wood
(R)
P
Suter
(L)

After spending nine days on the roster without playing (10-Day DL anyone?) Justin Turner pinch-hit last night and is back in the starting lineup today. Max Muncy had an…adventure at third yesterday, so he’ll be back at first today with Cody Bellinger getting a start off against the left-handed Suter. Chris Taylor has played 241 innings in center this year compared to only 10 in left, but he’ll get his second start of the year there today with Enrique Hernandez in center. This that means the only left-handed hitter in the starting lineup today is Muncy.

——

Of 121 SP with at least 70 innings, here’s how the two pitchers stack up:

Suter and Wood share a few strong similarities as they’re both left-handed, don’t really miss a ton of bats, but are successful as they also limit their walks. Wood has been the better pitcher this year, but it’s really no surprise as Suter tops out around 87-88 MPH. It’s impressive he’s as successful as he is considering how many pitchers are throwing 95+ MPH. Wood has been settling in as of late, with a 3.05 ERA and a 3.35 FIP over his last seven starts — he’s 4-1 in that stretch over 41.1 innings. Hopefully he’s dialed in and can find his form regardless of his fastball velocity.

——

The strategy to stack all right-handed batters up against Suter isn’t because he annihilates lefties or anything, it’s a product of a few things. Firstly, with the return of Turner, Muncy can only really play second or first and with how poorly he played defensively yesterday the team probably trusts him more at first. Bellinger could move to the outfield, but the team probably likes his potential as a bat off the bench tonight even though he’s been effective against LHP (105 wRC+). The only two guys in the lineup who have struggled against LHP’s are Logan Forsythe (42 wRC+) and Austin Barnes 85 (wRC+). Yasmani Grandal is considerably better against RHP (82 vs. 139 wRC+) but it’s always good to get your catchers rest — Barnes also needs appearances to hopefully catch a stride. The team also probably figures that Forsythe cannot be this abysmal forever. He’s five plate appearances short of qualifying for this, but of all 260 batters with 200 PA, the 55 wRC+ that Forsythe sports would be 249th. Yikes. The fun part is that Manny Machado is a Dodger, and he “struggles” against left-handed pitching to the tune of a 134 wRC+ compared to a 165 against RHP. He’s good.

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Not much in the way of news today besides that Walker Buehler looks to return next week.

First pitch is at 11:10 PT on SNLA and also as the MLB.TV game of the day.

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.