Dodgers @ Phillies July 24, 2018: Maeda vs. Nola

(Via)

After an impressive comeback last night, The Dodgers (56-44) look to secure their fourth series victory in a row with a win over the NL East leading Phillies (55-44). It won’t come easy as the Phillies will send their ace Aaron Nola (2.30 ERA/2.62 FIP/ 3.43 DRA) to the mound. Nola has been a top 10 pitcher in the league in almost every aspect, and it’s arguable that he’s been closer to top five. On the other hand, Kenta Maeda (3.12/2.78/3.42) is also having a career year. The Dodgers offense has been rolling as of late, so Nola will be a great test.

Dodgers
Phillies
4:05 PM
Philadelphia
LF
Pederson
2B
Hernandez
3B
Machado
LF
Hoskins
1B
Muncy
CF
Herrera
C
Grandal
1B
Santana
SS
Taylor
3B
Franco
CF
Bellinger
RF
Williams
2B
Hernandez SS Valentin
RF Verdugo
C
Alfaro
P
Maeda
(R)
P
Nola
(R)

The team is running back pretty much the same lineup as yesterday which is somewhat of an anomaly for the 2018 Dodgers. Matt Kemp has been great offensively this year, but has produced significantly better against left-handed pitching with a 171 wRC+ compared to a 128 wRC+ against RHP’s. With his health, age, and injury history it makes sense to give him a day off against a right-handed ace in Nola. Alex Verdugo will start in Kemp’s place in right field. Logan Forsythe will get the night off as the team will likely need all the offense it can get against Nola. This year Forsythe sports a 75 wRC+ against RHP compared to Enrique Hernandez and his 121 wRC+. Grandal (234 wRC+), Taylor (180), Joc (336), and Muncy (214) have all been hot to start the second half of the season so understandably no changes there.

——

This pitching matchup is one of the best the National League has to offer. Nola has been incredible, while Maeda is one of the aces holding down this Dodgers rotation. There have been 109 SP with at least 80+ IP, here’s how these two matchup:

Of pitchers with 80+ IP, Maeda ranks 19th in WARP (2.89) and 20th in fWAR (2.3). However, Maeda has only thrown 86 innings, the least of anyone in the top 35 of fWAR. #36 is Clayton Kershaw at 1.8 fWAR in 81.2 IP. On a rate basis, Maeda is eighth in WARP/200 innings at a 6.67 WARP pace —— Nola is ninth at 6.65. Obviously, Maeda isn’t going to make it to 200 innings but it’s more to showcase his effectiveness if health wasn’t an issue. Brim and Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs both recently wrote great pieces about Maeda if you’re interested.

——

Meanwhile, there are a ton of injury updates:

Pedro Baez, Yasiel Puig, and Hyun-Jin Ryu all seem to be progressing well as opposed to Tom Koehler who is now out for the season.

——

Also, the trade deadline is approaching so of course there’s news.

Subtracting Yasiel Puig from the roster for Zach Britton would hurt but it would make sense for luxury tax purposes and because the outfield depth that the Dodgers have. I’d probably prefer to deal prospects only but that’s just my opinion.

First pitch is at 4:05 PT 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.