Cardinals @ Dodgers Aug. 22, 2018: Buehler looks to avoid a sweep

(Via)

The Dodgers lost again last night. It’s about time to panic. Chad wrote those words earlier, and things do not look great right now. The Dodgers are playing poorly and find themselves 3.5 games behind Arizona for the NL West and three games behind both St. Louis and Milwaukee for one of the two NL Wild Card spots. Today, the Dodgers look to avoid getting swept by the Cardinals and their ninth loss in the last 12 games.

Cardinals
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
1B
Carpenter
LF
Pederson
C
Molina
3B
Turner
RF
Martinez
SS
Machado
3B
Gyorko
CF
Bellinger
SS
DeJong
2B
Dozier
2B
Wong
1B
Muncy
CF
Bader C Grandal
LF
Muñoz
RF
Puig
P
Flaherty (R)
P
Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler starts for the Dodgers for the 16th time this season. He’s coming off a solid outing in Seattle, where he allowed one run on three hits and two walks over six innings. He also struck out eight batters, which he’s done five times this season. Buehler has virtually no shot at becoming the third-consecutive Dodger to win Rookie of the Year, but he’s put together an excellent rookie season and should garner some votes for the award. Among 128 starters with 80 or more innings thrown this season, Buehler is tied for the 14th-biggest different between his strikeout rate (27.2 percent) and walk rate (5.9 percent).

Even if Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto didn’t exist, Buehler wouldn’t be a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year, partly because of Jack Flaherty. Flaherty was the Cardinals’ second-best prospect on MLB Pipeline entering the season and has lived up to the expectations, with a 3.05 ERA/3.81 FIP in 20 starts. Flaherty has the same difference between his strikeout rate (30.3 percent) and walk rate (8.8 percent) as Buehler. He’s put together three good starts so far in August, a pair of six-inning shutouts and one start where he allowed two runs over seven innings. Flaherty has a solid fastball that averages 93 MPH and gets grounders (43.2 percent of batted balls) with a sinker. His slider is his main out-pitch and he also features a high-spin curveball.

For the Dodgers, both Matt Kemp and Chris Taylor sit for the Dodgers, with Joc Pederson starting in left and Brian Dozier starting at second. The Cardinals placed Marcell Ozuna on the DL with a bum shoulder, and new acquisition Matt Adams is active for the game.

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Gianni Jansen gave birth to her and Kenley Jansen‘s third child this morning.

Kenley is expected to be with the team and available to pitch at some point tonight.

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The Dodgers released their 2019 schedule earlier today. They will open at home once again, on March 28th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The NL West plays the AL East next season, so the Dodgers will host the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll travel to Boston to see Brim and travel to Baltimore.

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The Dodgers may not be good right now, but the content still is.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.