Mets @ Dodgers August 22, 2021: David Price on the mound as the team looks for 10 in a row

After yet another win in a one-run game last night, the Dodgers (78-46) look to win their tenth consecutive game, which would consist of sweeping the New York Mets (60-63) on the road and at home. Poor Mets. The team will have their work cut out for them today, as they’ll be facing the toughest starter they’ve seen over this winning streak, in Marcus Stroman. David Price will be on the mound for the Dodgers, as they look to secure their longest winning streak of the season.

In a playoff push, you need to beat the teams that you’re simply better than, and the Dodgers should find a way to sweep the Mets before traveling to San Diego. They’ll start a three game series against the Padres (68-57) on Tuesday, a team they’ve struggled against thus far, with a 3-7 record against them.

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1:10 PM Los Angeles
CF Nimmo (L) 2B Turner
1B Alonso 1B Muncy (L)
SS Báez 3B Turner
3B Davis SS Seager (L)
LF Drury C Smith
2B Villar (S) RF Taylor
RF Pillar LF Pollock
C Mazeika (L) CF Bellinger (L)
P Stroman (R) P Price (L)

Over this nine game winning streak, the Dodgers have averaged 5.33 runs per game, just over their season average of 5.2. As a whole, they’ve had the fifth ranked wRC+ at 127, with the fourth ranked OPS at .844. Over this streak, Max Muncy has a 212 wRC+ and a 1.210 OPS, Trea Turner is at a 198 wRC+ with a 1.113 OPS while hitting .438, with Justin Turner (175 wRC+) and Corey Seager (147 wRC+) right behind them.

Through fourteen games now as a Dodger, Trea Turner is slashing .352/.390/.519, with a 146 wRC+, compared to .322/.369/.521 with a 136 wRC+ on the Nationals. Without Mookie Betts, this is the most powerful offensive lineup the team can field, so they’ll look to that potent lineup to put up some runs against the best starting pitcher they’ve faced in awhile.

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Here’s how Stroman and Price matchup.

I feel like any time I do the thread, David Price is pitching. Here’s what I had to say about him prior to his last outing. I’ll just adjust the numbers so they include his recent performance.

“He has a respectable 3.62 ERA, 3.76 FIP, and a 1.15 WHIP as a starter in ten total starts over 37.1 innings this season. He’s allowed a couple runs in both his recent starts, once against the Angels, and that last time out against the Phillies. (Now also against the Pirates as well.) He threw 67 pitches in his last outing, and still isn’t completely stretched out to be a starter that goes 90+ pitches consistently, but the team likely hopes to get five innings from him when he goes out there. His season high is 74 pitches, so depending on how his outing is going, he can stay out there for awhile.”

Price allowed two runs on three hits and a walk across 4.2 innings against the Pirates, with three strikeouts. His performance felt on brand with most his starts recently, where he’s great for a few innings, and then allows some damage the second time through the order. As a starter, over the first three innings, he has 26 strikeouts in 27 innings, allowing just seven earned runs on 21 hits, good for a 2.30 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a 2.52 FIP, allowing just a .581 OPS. He’s logged just ten innings past the third inning as a starter, with eight earned runs in that span, a 7.20 ERA, 7.17 FIP, and a 1.60 WHIP, allowing a .974 OPS. Small sample size sure, just pointing out that the numbers match the eye test.

Kenley Jansen has pitched two days in a row and is likely unavailable tonight, Blake Treinen has been used a lot recently and threw 22 pitches yesterday, also allowing a two run home run to Pete Alonso. Alex Vesia didn’t pitch last night, but pitched the two nights before that. It’ll be interesting to see who’s available tonight, as that’s possibly three reliable leverage arms out leaving only Phil Bickford and Corey Knebel. The team could use David Price being good for more than three innings ideally.

Stroman took the loss last time out against the Giants, as he allowed three runs on five hits and two walks across seven innings while striking out nine. After accepting the qualifying offer in the offseason, Stroman has produced roughly how you’d have expected him to based on his prior seasons. Before being being traded to New York, he spent five seasons in Toronto, putting together 3-4 WAR seasons when completely healthy. His 3.53 FIP has been extremely consistent with his past seasons, with every season being below 4.0. He’s walking a career low 5.8% of his batters faced, and combine that with being able to face pitchers in the National League, and you get Stroman with a career low in ERA at 2.84. His second half looks pretty similar to his first half, with a 3.07 ERA, 3.22 FIP, and a 1.12 WHIP post All-Star Break, all consistent with his first half. You kinda know what you’re getting with Stroman, quality performances most times out, with a couple gems sprinkled in with a couple bad starts. Overall, he’s a very good pitcher.

Among 43 pitchers in the National League with at least 100 innings pitched, his 2.84 ERA is good for tenth, his 3.53 FIP is 16th, and his 1.12 WHIP is 19th. He’s not likely to strikeout an ungodly amount of batters, as his strikeout rate of 21.7% is 33rd of those 43 starters, but his ground ball rate of 50.3% is eighth. There’s also some stuff I don’t quite know what to make of with Stroman, such as how you’d figure a pitcher who doesn’t generate as much swing and miss as other starters, would limit hard contact to maintain a low ERA, but that hasn’t been the case. Of those 43, his soft contact allowed at 12.8% is the second lowest of any pitcher, and his hard hit rate of 35.1% is the seventh highest. Naturally, a pitcher wants to limit balls in play, and the balls in play would ideally be hit softly. Baseball Savant matches those concerns, as his average exit velocity allowed is in the 32nd percentile, and his hard hit rate is in the 19th percentile. Oh well, I’m not a Mets fan, and that’s someone else’s job to figure out. Either way, he’s been successful, and ERA is the most important stat when looking at how a player has performed for his team, and a 2.84 ERA is very good. The Dodgers offense needs to hit.

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This makes sense, as even though the Padres have been performing poorly, from a pure talent standpoint, they still have a very strong team, even with starting pitching issues. The two teams play nine more times, and the Dodgers will look to get the best of them now, before the San Diego rotation gets healthier.

That would put Betts on track to be activated for the final game in San Diego.

This also makes sense, just to get as many MLB relief arms available for that series.

It also seems like Clayton Kershaw is on track to make his return sometime in September.

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First pitch is at 1:10 PM PDT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!