The Dodgers (4-2) split their season opening series with Arizona (3-3) this past weekend in Los Angeles, and now the roles are reversed as the Diamondbacks host the Dodgers for a four-game series. After this series, the two teams will meet only five more times for a total of 13 games this year. In previous seasons, every team would play within their division for a total of 76 games, or 19 games against each team in their division. That total number is down to 52, or 13 times each. There are mixed opinions on this, but I think it’s fun and interesting to be able to see the team I follow match up against other teams I never watch.
Anyways, Dustin May will be on the mound making his second start of the season, once again up against the right-handed veteran, Merrill Kelly.
|1B||Freeman (L)||2B||Marte (S)|
|LF||Peralta (L)||RF||McCarthy (L)|
|RF||Heyward (L)||SS||Perdomo (S)|
|P||May (R)||P||Kelly (R)|
Mookie Betts will start at second base once again, as Miguel Vargas is out of the lineup with a sore right thumb after being hit by a pitch Monday night. Miguel Rojas is also out of the lineup, but is expected to return tomorrow. This puts Chris Taylor in the infield again, as the outfield is manned by James Outman, the early but impressive Jason Heyward, and the Ex-Diamondback, David Peralta.
Arizona has a young exciting core, and are off to a solid 3-3 start that I’m sure they’re content with. It’s only been a week, but they currently own a -12 run differential, and the 28th ranked wRC+ (63), and OPS (.608). That could be the way things go for them this year, or could just be a result of playing the Dodgers for two thirds of their season thus far. They’ll be good sooner rather than later, but are currently a very raw and streaky team. They’ll beat you on defense and on the bases if you let them, even if they aren’t particularly dynamic offensively yet. The Dodgers still have to come to play if they want to do better than split the series again.
In his first outing of the year, Kelly allowed three hits and four walks over 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out four. The right-hander lasted only 74 pitches in that start, but rookie Drey Jameson took the baton in relief of Kelly and supplied four strong innings of his own to record the win. Considering Kelly threw over 200 innings last year for the first time, managing his workload early in 2023 is justified. He’s likely ready to go deeper into the game tonight if the Dodgers’ offense allows it.
May didn’t factor into the decision in Friday’s 2-1 loss, but supplied the best start of his young career, allowing just three hits and one walk over seven scoreless innings while striking out four. He generated plenty of weak contact among his 84 pitches (56 strikes) and was in line for the win before Alex Vesia served up a two-run homer to Kyle Lewis in the eighth inning. It happens. May is still just 25, and if he can avoid the injured list he has the stuff to put together a breakout campaign.
He threw his four-seam fastball 36 times (42.8%) in his previous start, the most in his entire career thus far. His previous high was last season in early September, where he threw 31 four-seam fastballs in 87 pitches (35.6%). It’s something to keep an eye on, and while Arizona was able to avoid striking out too many times against him, it’s doubtful the rest of the league will be so lucky. Arizona currently has the 10th lowest strikeout rate at 20.1%, so it’s possible they’re just strong in that regard. Either way, it looks like May will generate whiffs and weak contact this year, and another start against Arizona is beneficial at the beginning of the season.
It seems that Tony Gonsolin is still a decent bit away from make his season debut. Noah Syndergaard looked solid last time out, and Michael Grove looked good considering he was pitching sick. For now, the Dodgers are fine.
Both Miguels will be back soon.
This looks really bad. The only saving grace is that it COULD be bigger and it is not. Hopefully the Dodgers never do anything similar to their jerseys.
First pitch is at 7:10 PM PT on SNLA.