Padres @ Dodgers August 1, 2019: Lucchesi vs. Kershaw

Behind a five run ninth inning yesterday, the Dodgers (71-39) beat the Rockies 5-1, taking two of three against Colorado and winning their second consecutive series. Today they’ll open up a ten game home stand, starting with four games against the San Diego Padres (50-57). 26 year-old lefty Joey Lucchesi will take the mound for the Padres against Clayton Kershaw.

Padres
Dodgers
7:10 P.M.
Los Angeles
SS
Tatis Jr.
CF
Pollock
CF
Margot
2B
Muncy
3B
Machado
3B
Turner
RF
Renfroe
RF
Bellinger
1B
Hosmer
1B
White
LF
Myers
C
Smith
2B
Urias LF Verdugo
C
Hedges
SS
Negrón
P
Lucchesi (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

The Dodgers will start nearly all their right-handed batters against Lucchesi. The only lefties in the starting lineup are Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Alex Verdugo. This means that Kristopher Negron and Tyler White will start once again.

Of 98 starting pitchers to throw at least 90 innings, here’s where Lucchesi and Kershaw sit.

Lucchesi has faced the Dodgers twice this season, with a 4.76 ERA over 11.1 innings. Most recently he allowed three runs on six hits over 6.1 innings against the Dodgers on July 7. He’s coming off a good start against the Giants where he allowed one earned run on just two hits over six innings while striking out eight. He did also walk four batters in that game, which isn’t a good mistake to make against the Dodgers. He has nearly no platoon splits, so he’s equally tough against both left-handed and right-handed batters. Lucchesi is a solid pitcher who the Dodgers still matchup well against.

Clayton Kershaw has been on a roll.

He’s essentially solidified himself as a top-15 pitcher in the league amidst his “decline”. He was behind track to start the season, and it looks like he’s begun to piece things together very well. The numbers he put up in July looked like Kershaw of old, allowing only four earned runs over 25 innings. That’s a 1.44 ERA along with a 1.90 FIP, allowing only 14 hits while striking out 35. His 35.0% strikeout rate over that stretch again looks promising, as when he was in his prime he had roughly a 31.0% strikeout rate. Still, over his last 10 starts he has a 2.35 ERA, with a 2.98 FIP and 0.97 WHIP — all of which would be top five in the league. He’s still a very very formidable pitcher. He has a 3.15 ERA against the Padres this year, as they’ve been able to hit him better than most other teams so he’ll have to adapt and especially find a way to get out Manny Machado.

——

Newly acquired reliever, Adam Kolarek joins the team filling an important role as a left-handed reliever who can actually get out left-handed batters.

This was probably coming sooner rather than later, as it’s been pretty ugly — nonetheless, it does make sense as to why they were trying to make it happen, especially considering their league leading record. Ample time to experiment.

Dustin May is up and officially starting tomorrow. Depending on Ross Stripling‘s recovery timeline, May could make more than one start, but as Friedman indicated — it’s all to be determined.

First pitch is at 7:10 PT on SNLA or MLB Network.

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.