Diamondbacks @ Dodgers May 17, 2022: Pepiot starts first game of doubleheader

After a (relatively) comfortable 5-4 win last night in the series opener against Arizona (18-18), the Dodgers (22-12) maintain a half game lead in the NL West, and look to keep that going as they play the Diamondbacks twice today. The first game features Ryan Pepiot against the 28 year-old lefty Tyler Gilbert and the second game featuring Tyler Anderson against the right-handed Merrill Kelly. Pepiot will be making his second start of the year after a scoreless three inning start in his MLB debut six days ago in Pittsburgh.

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12:10 PM Los Angeles
C Varsho (L) RF Betts
3B Rojas (L) 1B Freeman (L)
RF Smith (L) SS T. Turner
1B Walker C Smith
LF Peralta (L) DH Muncy (L)
DH Hummel (S) 3B J. Turner
CF Thomas (L) CF Bellinger (L)
SS Perdomo (S) LF Taylor
2B Hager 2B Alberto
P Gilbert (L) P Pepiot (R)

Overall, these two teams are separated by a huge gap in offensive performance. The Dodgers are fifth in overall wRC+ at 113, while Arizona is 26th at 84. The Dodgers own the second highest Expected Weighted On-base Average (xwOBA) at .353, second only to the Yankees, while Arizona is all the way down in 28th. Against right-handed pitching like the Diamondbacks will be facing in Pepiot, they have the 25th ranked wRC+ at 86, with the second highest strikeout rate at 25.5%. Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ struggles against left-handed pitching are well documented, with the 17th ranked wRC+ at 97. They managed to put up three runs on Madison Bumgarner yesterday, and previously put up three against Ranger Suarez.

The switch-hitting Ketel Marte will be out of the starting lineup for the first game, but the Diamondbacks still manage a way to only have two right-handed batters in the lineup. Gavin Lux will also be out of the lineup for this first game against the left-handed Gilbert, as Hanser Alberto will get the start at second base, while Justin Turner starts at third and Max Muncy is the designated hitter.

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In regards to Pepiot, I recommend just reading this post from Dustin prior to Pepiot’s debut, about what to expect from him. In his last outing his stuff looked very good at times, but his issue was his control as he walked five in just three innings. He issued only one hit and struck out three, so today he’ll look to tighten up his command against Arizona.

For the Diamondbacks, Gilbert is their 27th man for the doubleheader, so it’s likely that he’ll be headed back down to Triple-A after this start. This is his third appearance of the season, and just his second start. Between his previous two appearances, Gilbert struck out six and allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks over 8.2 innings. He’s spent more time in Triple-A this season, and has fared much worse there, with an 11.60 ERA, 1.90 WHIP and just six strikeouts to five walks over five starts. His most recent appearance was a three inning outing against the Dodgers a few weeks back in Arizona, where he allowed just one run on a Will Smith solo home run. He made one start before that, going 5.2 innings allowing just one run. He’s the guy who famously threw a no hitter in his first career MLB start last year. Cool stuff.

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David Price will be back with the team today, although it’s still relatively to be determined what his current role is.

Good to see Mitch White and Justin Bruihl back. Hate to see Tommy Kahnle on the injured list.

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This is just news you hate to see.

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Good to see some of the highly touted farm guys progressing well.

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First pitch is at 12:10 PM PDT on SNLA and MLB Network, while the second game is at the regular start time of 7:10 PM.

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!