Rockies @ Dodgers August 29, 2021: Mitch White on the mound as the Dodgers look for their seventh consecutive series win

After dropping the first game of the series against the Colorado Rockies (59-70), the Dodgers (82-48) bounced back last night, ultimately winning by a score of 5-2 behind a three run eighth inning. If the team wins the final game of this series, it’ll be their seventh consecutive series win. Despite that, they still remain in second place in the NL West, trailing the San Francisco Giants (84-45) by 2.5 games. The team can only control their own games, and there is plenty of time left to erase that deficit, especially as the team travels to San Francisco next weekend for the final three games between the two rivals. To lock up the series win, Mitch White will be on the mound for the Dodgers, up against Antonio Senzatela for Colorado.

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1:10 P.M. Los Angeles
LF Joe 2B Turner
2B Rodgers 1B Muncy (L)
RF Blackmon (L) LF Pollock
SS Story SS Seager (L)
1B Cron 3B Taylor
3B Ruiz (L) CF Bellinger (L)
CF Hilliard (L) RF McKinney (L)
C Nuñez (L) C Barnes
P Senzatela (R) P White (R)

The Dodgers have made a few lineup changes from last night. Mookie Betts will be out of the lineup after playing three consecutive games after returning from the injured list. Dave Roberts has already mentioned that he doesn’t see Betts playing more than three days in a row, so this three days on, one day off is like to continue. That lines up for playing all three games against the Braves, a day off on the travel day Thursday, and then in all three games against the Giants. Justin Turner is also taking the day off, as he’s played five days in a row and is in the midst of a pretty rough slump. Over his last sixteen games since 8/7 (when the Dodgers current 17-3 stretch started), he’s slashed .170/.298/.255, a .553 OPS and a 65 wRC+. His plate discipline is still there (besides one very poor plate appearance last night), and features just a .184 BABIP over that stretch. His career BABIP of .316 and season mark of .299 indicate that he’ll likely get back on track sooner rather than later.

Max Muncy is also currently going through a rough patch, with just one hit in his last 24 plate appearances. He still features a .930 OPS and 152 wRC+, but he’ll look to get it going soon as well. He has six strikeouts in that stretch, but also owns a .067 BABIP, including what seemed to be a home run that died at the wall in San Diego. Cody Bellinger has also been, not great, and over his last 59 plate appearances, he’s slashing .123/.136/.175, with seven hits and one walk, for a -17 wRC+.

Overall the team is 10-2 over their last twelve games, but since then has the 25th ranked wRC+ at 81, 24th ranked OPS at .662, and the 29th ranked batting average at .206. Impressive they’ve been able to manage that with Trea Turner hitting .408 since then. If the team has looked tough to watch on offense and you’re confused as to how they’ve been winning so much, that makes sense. They’ll need to play better with the Atlanta Braves (69-59) and San Francisco Giants in the upcoming schedule.

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Here’s how White and Senzatela matchup.

White has made two starts in his last three games, but his last outing was a 7.1 inning relief gem, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts against the Pirates. His 91 pitches were a Major League career high, easily passing his previous high of 65. Since 5/16, White has thrown 28.2 innings with a 3.45 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 1.01 WHIP, with 32 strikeouts. It’s a relatively limited sample, but White has had pretty severe splits thus far into his season. In 17.1 innings pitched against left-handed batters, he’s allowed a .730 OPS, with a 4.61 FIP and 1.44 WHIP against them, compared to a .485 OPS, 3.28 FIP, and 0.94 WHIP against right-handed batters. He’ll look to get through a Rockies’ lineup with four left-handed batters today, including the dangerous Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon hasn’t been great this year, but he owns a 114 wRC+, .866 OPS, and four of his ten home runs have come against the Dodgers.

In his last time out, Senzatela allowed one run on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings against the Cubs. Overall he’s had a solid year, with that 4.42 ERA a little inflated, primarily due to two starts against the Dodgers. Both of his worst starts of his entire season have come against the team, where he’s allowed eleven runs over six innings pitched, on 14 hits and three walks. He’d have a 3.78 ERA, and a 1.31 WHIP without those two starts. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. He has a 3.78 ERA, 2.95 FIP, and 1.31 WHIP over his last 14 starts, with half of those coming at home. Like Jon Gray, Senzatela is much better at home, with a 5.42 ERA on the road, allowing an .861 OPS.

Eventually, the Dodgers offense will need to show up with some tougher matchups coming up, and they have a favorable matchup against Senzatela.

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This is super cool, because it works out that Keibert Ruiz gets to catch Josiah Gray in his debut with the Nationals.

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Edwin Uceta being optioned was the corresponding move needed to recall White.

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If this is the case, Julio Urias and Walker Buehler will both face the Giants this coming weekend, as Friday will be TBD.

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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!