Dodgers @ Rockies September 8, 2018: Buehler vs Freeland for the division lead

After yesterday’s completely not-heart-pounding victory, the Dodgers not find themselves a half game behind the Rockies for the NL West lead. Being the pessimist I am, this means that at worst the Dodgers will leave Colorado 2.5 games back with three games coming up against the Cincinnati Reds while the Rockies face the third-place Diamondbacks. It could be worse. A win today puts the Dodgers back in first place with 20 games remaining after today’s game. I prefer when the Dodgers played like shit down the stretch but had a double-digit lead in the division.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:10 PM
Colorado
2B
Dozier
CF
Blackmon
3B
Turner
2B
LeMahieu
SS Machado
RF
Gonzalez
RF
Kemp
SS
Story
1B
Freese
LF
Dahl
CF
 Hernández
1B
Desmond
LF
Taylor 3B McMahon
C
Barnes
C
Iannetta
P
Buehler (R)
P
Freeland (L)

Walker Buehler gets his third look at Coors Field this season. He’s coming off a foot cramp that led to an X-Ray following his last start, but he seems to be healthy enough to go today. In a normal year, Buehler would be a front-runner for the NL Rookie of the Year award with his 2.92 ERA/3.11 FIP in 104 2/3 innings pitched this season, but Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna are insane and one of them will surely take home the award. In his last start against the Diamondbacks, Buehler tied his career high with nine strikeouts during 6 1/3 innings of one-run, two hit ball. Buehler cruised for six innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh with a single and a walk. That single came around to score for the only run charged to Buehler in the game. In Buehler’s first look at Coors this season, he allowed eight hits and four runs in only five innings, but the Dodgers put up 12 runs. In his second start at Coors, Buehler tossed seven shutout innings and allowed four hits and three walks while striking out six. However, the Dodgers only scored two runs and lost 3-2 on a walk-off three-run homer by literally Ryan McMahon.

Kyle Freeland starts for Colorado, which lately means it’s a win for Colorado. They’re 19-9 in his starts this season, but the Rockies have won his last six starts and 11 of his last 12. Freeland has thrown 170 1/3 innings this year and has a 2.96 ERA. The last full-time Rockie starter to post a sub-3.00 ERA in a season was Ubaldo Jimenez, who threw 221 2/3 innings with a 2.88 ERA in 2010 and finished in third in Cy Young voting. Freeland likely will garner some Cy Young attention this season, and while he’s clearly behind Jacob deGrom, Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer, he should be right around that next tier. Only 75 1/3 of Freeland’s innings this season have come at home, but he has a 2.27 ERA and allows a .219/.297/.383 triple slash at Coors. He saw the Dodgers once at Coors this season, and tossed seven innings of two-run ball while striking out a season-high 10 batters.

The Dodgers roll out a typical righty-heavy lineup against a lefty pitcher. The big news is the absence of Nolan Arenado, who has six hits in his last 49 plate appearances and hasn’t hit a homer since August 24th.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.