Dodgers @ Rockies July 30, 2019: Urias vs. Freeland

Photo: Daniel Brim

After a deflating 9-1 loss last night, the Dodgers (69-39) look to bounce back and be the first team in the majors to reach 70 wins. They were held to just four hits against Jon Gray, but they should have the advantage tonight against a struggling Kyle Freeland. Julio Urias will open the game for the Dodgers, most likely available for 3-4 innings.

Through 108 games, the Dodgers’ record of 69-39 gives them a 14 game lead in the NL West over the San Francisco Giants. Through 108 games last season, their record was 59-49, trailing the Diamondbacks by half a game.

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 p.m.
Denver
CF
Pollock
CF
Dahl
SS
Seager
SS
Story
3B
Turner
3B
Arenado
RF
Bellinger
1B
Murphy
1B
White
LF
Desmond
LF
Verdugo
2B
McMahon
2B
Negrón RF Tapia
C
Martin
C
Iannetta
P
Urias (L)
P
Freeland (L)

Even though Freeland hasn’t been good this season, he’s still a very talented left-handed pitcher with a successful track record. The Dodgers currently have a 109 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, good for seventh in the league, while their .793 OPS is 10th. A top 10 offense against left-handed pitching is obviously great, but as one of the World Series favorites, you’d typically expect better production. Either way, they’ll have a great matchup tonight against Freeland at Coors Field. Kristopher Negron and Tyler White both get their first starts with the Dodgers. As a position player, Coors Field is probably a fun place to have your debut with a new team.

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Of 128 pitcher who’ve thrown at least 70 innings, here’s how Urias and Freeland rank. Urias has only thrown 57.2 innings as he’s been primarily used in relief, so his rankings reflect where he would rank if he had 70 IP.

Urias will be making just his sixth start of the season, as well as his 24th overall apperance. His most recent start came on June 20 against the Giants, where he allowed just one hit over three innings, striking out five. Since June 5, he’s allowed just one earned run over 24.1 innings — that’s an ERA of 0.37, with a 2.57 FIP. Over that stretch he’s allowed just nine hits and ten walks, so even though he’s been dominant, the only thing holding him back if anything, has been command. Of all pitchers with at least 35 IP against right-handed batters, Urias has been one of, if not the best. He’s allowing just a .214 wOBA, which leads all 153 qualified pitchers. His overall slashline allowed is .164/.235/.250 which is ridiculous. The only other left-handed pitcher in that ball park is Josh Hader.

Things haven’t been nearly as pretty for Freeland.

Last year Freeland finished fourth in the NL Cy Young, with a staggering 8.4 bWAR and a still impressive 4.2 fWAR — prime example of how different these two WAR calculations can be. Either way, that was one of the best pitching seasons in Colorado’s history. Regardless, this season he’s at -0.4 bWAR and 0.2 fWAR. He ended up being sent down to AAA for six starts, accruing an 8.80 ERA while there. Since he’s been back on the MLB roster, he’s made three starts with a 6.34 ERA and a 3.16 FIP. That FIP is solid, and most importantly for him, he has given up only one home run in his first 14 innings back. His 2.09 HR/9 innings mark is currently the sixth worst in the league, but it appears he’s trending the right direction.

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Ross Stripling returning will be a boost to the bullpen or starting staff, regardless of how the team intends to use him moving forward. He’s good and having good pitchers helps.

Tony Gonsolin is up and should be the next guy in to follow Urias tonight.

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Unfortunately, Edwin Diaz, Noah Syndergaard and Felipe Vazquez are still not Dodgers. Maybe by this time tomorrow something will have changed.

First pitch is at 5:40 PT on SNLA.

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.