Dodgers @ Diamondbacks May 26, 2022: Mitch White starts first of four games in Arizona

After winning the first two games of the series against the Washington Nationals (15-30) by scores of 10-1 and 9-4, the Dodgers (29-14) couldn’t muster anything offensively yesterday and dropped the final game of the series by a score of 1-0. Chad put it perfectly in his recap, “B lineup delivers F results“.

The Dodgers will play four games here in Arizona against the Diamondbacks (23-22), ending their ten game roadstead, before heading home to face the Pirates (18-25), and the Mets (29-17). The matchup tonight consists of Mitch White vs. the right-handed Humberto Castellanos for Arizona.

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6:40 PM Phoenix
RF Betts C Varsho (L)
1B Freeman (L) 3B Rojas (L)
SS T. Turner 2B Marte (S)
C Smith DH Walker
DH Ríos (L) LF Peralta (L)
3B J. Turner 1B Smith (L)
CF Bellinger (L) RF McCarthy (L)
LF Taylor CF Thomas (L)
2B Lux (L) SS Perdomo (S)
P White (R) P Castellanos (R)

The team will essentially run out the best lineup they have, with the sole difference being Edwin Ríos (127 wRC+) batting over Max Muncy (84 wRC+). As unfortunate as it is, by the numbers Rïos has been better than Muncy, making this the best lineup they can field. Mookie Betts didn’t start the final game of the series yesterday and his only plate appearance resulted in a strikeout while pinch hitting. I’ll just copy paste what I had written in the other thread prior to yesterdays game because nothing has changed. For Betts, 40 games in, and he’s theoretically on pace for 48 home runs, 176 runs scored, 120 RBI, and 10.8 fWAR. Since 4/22, he’s slashed .336/.422/.716, good for a 215 wRC+. That puts him up to a 170 wRC+ on the season, which would be his second highest mark of his career, just behind his 2018 MVP season (185 wRC+). His 10.8 fWAR pace would put him just ahead of his mark that season (10.6).

Here’s how the two offenses compare as a whole.

As expected, the Dodgers are one of the best offenses in baseball. The Diamondbacks have been surprisingly decent considering how absolutely terrible they were last season, where they went 52-110. Unless something happens, they’ll easily surpass that mark this season. Josh Rojas (142 wRC+) and Alek Thomas (136 wRC+), both have just over 50 plate appearances this season, but have had great starts to their year. Meanwhile, Daulton Varsho (130 wRC+), David Peralta (116), and Christian Walker (109) have all been very solid, while star infielder Ketel Marte (103 wRC+) is yet to really hit his stride.

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Castellanos is 24 years-old, and is primarily a three pitch pitcher, with a sinker averaging 90.2 MPH, a slider in the mid 80’s, and a curve in the mid 70’s. He hasn’t been incredible thus far (4.29 ERA, 4.49 FIP, 1.18 WHIP), but he’s been passable, especially for a team that isn’t competing for a playoff spot this year. Last time out, he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five in 5.1 innings to earn the win over the Cubs. He’s has been incredibly consistent over his last three starts, as he’s pitched 5.1 innings in each of those outings. He doesn’t generate a ton of swing and miss, and has just 26 strikeouts to nine walks over his first seven starts and 35.2 innings.

White (6.17 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 1.28 WHIP) will make his second consecutive start after making five previous outings out of the bullpen this year. In his first start last week, he got hit relatively hard, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk over 2.1 innings in Philly. Since he had previously been working out of the bullpen, he threw just 49 pitches, so the team would probably love for him to be able to get five innings. He’s allowed two home runs in just 11.2 innings, helping contribute to a 6.17 ERA early this season, although he’s also generated 13 strikeouts and allowed just four walks. Where he’ll end up after this start is still to be determined, as Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw are both likely to return relatively soon.

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Speaking of Kershaw, here’s what he had to say about his own injury.

For his own health, and to give him a break in general with his performance this season, the IL is probably the right call.

Good news for Heaney.

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Your guess is as good as mine as to how the rotation looks right now. A lot of moving parts.

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Good to see that the Dodgers are going to be retiring Gil Hodges‘ number. It’s well deserved and also overdue.

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First pitch is at 6:40 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!