Dodgers @ Padres September 10, 2022: Urías vs. Snell

Unlike yesterday, it looks like the weather will allow this game to start on time tonight. After a 40-minute rain delay last night, the game ended in 10 innings with the Dodgers (94-43) taking the loss, as the Padres (77-62) won 5-4. This keeps the Dodgers’ magic number for clinching the NL West at six games, and they now have a 5.5 game lead over the Astros (89-49) for best record in baseball, and a 7.5 game lead over the Braves (87-51) for best record in the National League.

If you’re looking for any possible reasons to be concerned about the team heading into the postseason, here are two: with the loss last night, the Dodgers dropped to 4-7 in extra-inning games, and 12-13 in one-run games. That’s the 16th-ranked record in one-run games, and the 26th in extra-inning games. Tonight features two lefties on the mound in Julio Urias and Blake Snell.

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5:40 PM San Diego
RF Betts SS Kim
SS T. Turner RF Soto (L)
1B Freeman (L) 3B Machado
DH Smith DH Bell (S)
3B J. Turner 1B Myers
LF Taylor 2B Cronenworth (L)
2B Alberto LF Profar (S)
CF Thompson C Nola
C Barnes CF Azocar
P Urías (L) P Snell (L)

Against the left-handed Snell, Chris Taylor will start in left field with Trayce Thompson in center, Hanser Alberto will be at second base with Gavin Lux still dealing with neck/back soreness, and Austin Barnes will be catching with Will Smith as the designated hitter. As both teams have left-handed starters on the mound, here’s how the two offenses compare against left-handed pitching.

Against lefties, the Padres are led by Ha-Seong Kim (130 wRC+, .797 OPS), Manny Machado (122 wRC+, .803 OPS), Jake Cronenworth (115 wRC+, .736 OPS), and Jurickson Profar (114 wRC+, .736 OPS). Obviously, they also added Josh Bell (130 wRC+, .837 OPS) and Juan Soto (114 wRC+, .740 OPS) at the trade deadline.

The Dodgers have a few guys that are really crushing left-handed pitching this year, starting with Mookie Betts (188 wRC+, 1.048 OPS), Trea Turner (159 wRC+, .940 OPS), Will Smith (142 wRC+, .859 OPS), Freddie Freeman (132 wRC+, .818 OPS), and Justin Turner (118 wRC+, .769 OPS).

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Here’s how the two starters matchup.

Last time out, Snell took the loss against Arizona, allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out ten in six innings. He was tagged with the loss, but put up his second straight quality start and eighth of the season. He also notched double-digit strikeouts for the fourth time this season, and racked up an impressive 20 swinging strikes. Even with a six earned run start on 8/24 against the Guardians, over his last nine starts and 49.0 innings he has a 2.20 ERA, 2.13 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, and 68 strikeouts to eleven walks. He’s been looking like Snell the 2018 AL Cy Young, unfortunately.

Urías earned his 15th win of the season last time out, allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out two batters over six innings. It was an easy start for him with the run support he received, coasting to an easy 78-pitch, six-inning start. He pitched mostly to contact, inducing only six swinging strikes and notching just two strikeouts. The lone run he gave up came on a Machado home run in the sixth inning. With Sandy Alcantara getting hammered for six runs his last time out, Urías now owns the top ERA in the National League among qualified starters at 2.29.

In 59.0 innings with Barnes catching, Urías has a 1.98 ERA compared to 2.48 with Smith in 86.2 innings. He has a lower OPS allowed with Smith catching (.575) over .621 with Barnes, and a significantly better strikeout to walk ratio, but maybe Urías feels better in high leverage situations with Barnes. Also likely that he doesn’t care and Roberts just wants Smith to get some rest and get Barnes in the lineup to do some damage against Snell.

Urías is an amazing pitcher in my eyes due to his ability to succeed on days where he doesn’t have his best stuff. When he has his best stuff he’ll go 6+ with no earned runs, but even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, he’ll find a way to provide a quality start at worst. Obviously there are blips, but he has the lowest ERA in the National League while seemingly having some mediocre starts visually, but they’re continuously quality starts. He just turned 26 and it’s very possible he’s still yet to approach his peak. However, if he gets shelled tonight you can blame it on me.

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A little sad to see Matt Beaty get DFA, I hope he gets a shot somewhere.

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Not great news for the Dodgers or Blake Treinen.

Lux and Max Muncy getting back in the lineup soon would be nice, but it’s mainly important that they’re ready come October.

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First pitch is at 5:40 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!