Dodgers @ Nationals NLDS Game 3: Ryu vs. Sanchez

(Via)

After a deflating loss in game two, the Dodgers’ look to get one back on the road. The good news is that on paper, this is as lopsided a pitching matchup as possible between these two teams. The Nationals will send Anibal Sanchez to the mound against the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu. Patrick Corbin or Max Scherzer could be looming in the bullpen, mitigating the weakness that is the Nationals bullpen. That is to be determined, and I’m sure the Nationals would prefer Sanchez to eat all the innings he can. The Dodgers need to get to Sanchez early, forcing Dave Martinez to make a difficult decision. This is a must win, with all three of the other Nationals elite starting rotation slated to pitch the remaining games.

Dodgers
Nationals
4:45 p.m.
Washington D.C.
RF
Pederson
SS
Turner
1B
Muncy
RF
Eaton
3B
Turner
3B
Rendon
CF
Bellinger
LF
Soto
SS
Seager
1B
Kendrick
LF
Pollock
C
Suzuki
2B
Lux 2B Dozier
C
Martin
CF
Taylor
P
Ryu (L)
P
Sanchez (R)

The Dodgers will roll out the same position players they did in game two, with the lone exception being Russell Martin catching Hyun-Jin Ryu. The offensive players are fine, this looks like the ideal lineup against the right-handed Sanchez — the team just needs to hit better. Corey Seager will bat fifth tonight, compared to seventh in game two, and Max Muncy will bat second, moving up from the fifth spot.

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There were 61 qualified starters this season, and with Ryu and Sanchez both being a part of that group, here’s where those two rank.

Sanchez has been a solid starter this year, evidenced by the fact that he was one of only 61 starters to throw enough innings to “qualify”. Among those 61, he’s been roughly middle of the pack, which is good, but significantly worse than the trio of elite starters the nationals have in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. He doesn’t strikeout many batters, while walking more than you’d expect. This plays well into the Dodgers’ strengths, and the team should have less than the 17 strikeouts they had in game two.

Ryu had an exceptional season, and is arguably the ace of this staff. It’s the same story with him as it’s been all year, he doesn’t walk anyone and he generates soft contact. He had a 5.21 ERA last postseason over 19 innings, but he had a .379 BABIP against him, explaining his 2.21 FIP. Ryu had one of his best starts of the season against the Nationals back in May, allowing just one hit while striking out nine over eight innings. In July, he allowed just one run against the Nationals over 6.2 innings, totaling a 0.63 ERA against Washington over the season.

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In other news,

Rich Hill in the postseason is fantastic to watch. Tomorrow will be fun (awful) to watch.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Max Scherzer is insane, and I would not be surprised to see him in the game sometime tonight.

Victor Robles being unavailable is just another factor that makes this game a must win. This is the best opportunity to come away with a win, and it needs to happen.

——

First pitch is at 4:45 PT on TBS.

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.