Rockies @ Dodgers October 1, 2018: Game 163 for the NL West

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Yesterday was a fantastic day for fans of chaos, so there is Monday baseball. The Dodgers and Rockies each won in commanding fashion yesterday, giving us one game to decide the National League West. The stakes could be higher, as the losing team will still be the second Wild Card team. They’ll play tomorrow, either in Chicago or Milwaukee. The winning team will be the number two seed, and host the Atlanta Braves in a five-game NLDS series. For the Dodgers, it would be their sixth consecutive NL West title. For the Rockies, it would be the first in their 26-year existence. The Dodgers get to play host in this game because they won 12 of their 19 games against Colorado this season, including six of their nine matchups in Los Angeles.

Rockies
Dodgers
1:09 PM
Los Angeles
CF
Blackmon
LF
Pederson
2B
LeMahieu
3B
Turner
LF
Dahl
1B
Muncy
3B
Arenado
SS
Machado
SS
Story
C
Grandal
RF
Gonzalez
CF
Bellinger
1B
Desmond RF Puig
C
Wolters
2B
Hernandez
P
Marquez (R)
P
Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler was pushed back from starting yesterday in San Francisco and will get the ball today. It’s a gamble by the Dodgers, as a loss would force an unfavorable matchup in tomorrow’s Wild Card game, on the road, with fewer relievers available. However, a win would give the Dodgers two off days and a best of five series with three home games. They’re giving themselves the best chance to win today, and it’s tough to argue against that.

Dave Roberts said it was a “no-brainer” to go with Buehler today.

Buehler is quite familiar with the Rockies, as he started against them five times this season. Three of those starts came at Coors Field, and he allowed four runs in two of those starts but threw seven shutout innings in the other. He was better in his two starts in LA, where he allowed three runs (only one of which was earned) in 13 innings. He saw the Rockies in LA on September and allowed two unearned runs in the first after a Justin Turner throwing error extended the inning for an Ian Desmond two-run single. Buehler had a much easier time in his other five innings of work, scattering baserunners and finishing with three hits and one walk allowed while recording a career-high 12 strikeouts. Single-season sample sizes against batters should be taken with a grain of salt, but Charlie Blackmon is the only Rockie batter with much success against Buehler. He has four hits and two walks in 15 plate appearances against Buehler.

You could argue that Buehler is the current ace of the Dodgers. You could say the same of German Marquez with the Rockies. Kyle Freeland put together a great season and will finish top-5 in Cy Young voting, but Marquez was right there with him and is better by some metrics. Away from Coors, Marquez posted a 2.91 ERA/2.98 FIP in 102 innings. Opposing batters posted a .198/.257/.332 triple slash against Marquez away from Coors. Marquez saw the Dodgers three times this season, twice in LA and once at Coors. The Dodgers scored four runs in six innings off him in Colorado, but Marquez was dominant in LA. In both starts, Marquez allowed two hits and one solo home run. On May 21, he did this over seven innings and Max Muncy hit the dinger. On June 30, he did this over eight innings and the homer was hit by Enrique Hernandez. Marquez threw seven shutout innings against the Phillies in his last start, where he struck out the first eight batters he faced. Earlier today, Marquez was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for September.

Joc Pederson is 3-for-10 (.300) with two home runs against Marquez. Pederson, Dodgers leadoff home run king, is set to start it off for the LA. Roberts is going with the hot bat in Enrique Hernandez at second base, batting eighth. Kiké went nuts in September and slashed .348/.438/.522/.959 in 69 (nice) at-bats.

——

We’re ready, Kiké.

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.