Dodgers @ Cardinals April 11, 2019: Buehler vs. Wacha

Last night, the Dodgers (8-5) dropped their third straight game to the Cardinals (7-5) and lost their first series of the season. Today they get a rare early game, hoping they can avoid being swept before facing a tough series with the Brewers. Kenta Maeda wasn’t at his best last night, giving up five earned runs over 5.1 innings. Even at that, the Dodgers managed to only produce five hits and a single walk. Six baserunners isn’t going to cut it. The team has been outscored 15-5 this series, and they’ll need to get things going this morning.

Dodgers
Cardinals
10:15 a.m.
St. Louis, MO.
LF
Pederson
2B
Wong
3B
Turner
1B
Goldschmidt
SS
Seager
SS
DeJong
CF
Pollock
RF
Martinez
2B
Muncy
LF
O’Neill
1B
Freese
3B
Gyorko
RF
Hern√°ndez CF Bader
C
Gale
C
Wieters
P
Buehler (R)
P
Wacha (R)

On the mound today, Walker Buehler (6.75 ERA, 4.85 FIP) makes his third start of the season against the tough, albeit wild Michael Wacha (1.54 ERA, 4.90 FIP). Buehler is coming off a solid start in Colorado, going five innings allowing only three hits and one earned run on a solo homer. The Dodgers could really benefit from a lengthy start by Buehler, easing the workload on the bullpen, however that’s partially on the offense as well. Last season Buehler killed the Cardinals, allowing only five hits and no runs over 15 innings, while striking out 18. Granted, that lineup didn’t feature Paul Goldschmidt, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

For the Cardinals, Wacha has been … successful with his 1.54 ERA through two starts. That’s incredibly lucky considering he’s walked twelve batters through 11.2 innings. His 23.1% walk rate is the highest in the league, bringing his WHIP to 1.63, the 10th highest in the league. His 96.6% left-on base percentage can’t be sustained for much longer if he continues to have huge issues with his control. This should suit the Dodgers offense well, as they tend to have success when they can control the zone, take free bases, and punish pitches left in the zone. The offense hasn’t looked great, but they should have a solid opportunity against a struggling Wacha today.

The red-hot Cody Bellinger gets a well deserved day off. Even though he’s “only” three for ten this series with three walks and no strikeouts, he’s blistered the ball a few more times than that, just directly at people. He’s still totally locked in.

Austin Barnes also gets the day off with Rocky Gale filling in. Stacie explained Gale as well as I could in her thread yesterday.

Rocky Gale has only 22 at-bats at the major-league level (.091). He was briefly called up by the Dodgers last September, but only had two plate appearances. Last season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he slashed .281/.305/.383/.689 with four home runs in 85 games.

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Jaime Schultz is a talented reliever with above-average stuff that allows him to generate a lot of strikeouts. He features a fastball that sits 94-96 pairing it with a strong curve/slider. He has issues with command and limiting walks, but the strikeout stuff is there. Last season in AAA for the Rays, Schultz had 58 strikeouts in just 36 innings, but also walked 23.

Clayton Kershaw will be back in the rotation on Monday which is obviously great news. Even if he doesn’t return to his Cy Young form, he’s still almost assuredly going to be the ace of this rotation and a top 10 pitcher in the NL. It’s nice to have him back, and if/when a starter like Julio Urias or Ross Stripling eventually moves to relief, it’ll help the bullpen out as well.

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Hopefully they can win the fourth and final game of this series, avoiding a sweep — first pitch is at 10:15 AM PT.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.