Dodgers @ Angels June 20, 2023: Kershaw opens up the Freeway Series

The Dodgers are bad, folks.

They’re 11-17 since the Twins series and hit a new low point of the season on Sunday, as the Giants closed out a three-game sweep in LA to leapfrog the Dodgers for second in the NL West. They scored eight runs in the three-game series while the Giants scored seven runs on Friday and Sunday, and 15 on Saturday. Not great. The rotation is in shambles, the #bullpenisbad, and the offense has been middle-of-the-pack in June (16th in team OPS, 18th in wRC+, 17th in runs scored).

The Giants were hot coming into LA and remained hot, and today the Dodgers start a series with another one of the hottest teams in baseball. The Angels are 41-33 and have won 11 of their 17 games in June. They’re coming off a 5-2 road trip where they took three of four against the first place Rangers and two of three against the Royals. The Dodgers get their first look this season at future Dodger Shohei Ohtani, who was named AL Player of the Week. Last week, Ohtani posted a 1.893 OPS (my sources are telling me that is good) and hit six homers in seven games. He also won his only start of the week, tossing six innings and allowing two runs against the Rangers. He’s gonna hit like five homers in this series, isn’t he?

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7:07 PM Anaheim
RF Betts LF Ward
1B Freeman (L) DH Ohtani (L)
C Smith CF Trout
DH Martinez 2B Drury
2B Vargas RF Renfroe
LF DeLuca 1B Padlo
CF Outman (L) C Wallach
SS Rojas 3B Rengifo (S)
3B Busch SS Velazquez (S)
P Kershaw (L) P Detmers (L)

Clayton Kershaw gets his 15th start of the season today. He’s posted a 2.95 ERA/3.63 FIP so far this season and is coming off a pretty good start against the White Sox. Kershaw allowed two runs in six innings, which would normally be enough for a win (but not so much when the bullpen allows six runs in the final two innings). Kershaw’s allowed four runs in his three June starts, all coming off solo homers. He only struck out five White Sox in that game, his lowest strikeout total in a game since April 12.

Last season, Kershaw turned in his longest start of the year in his only start against the Angels. Kershaw threw seven perfect innings before allowing a leadoff double to Luis Rengifo to start the eighth. Kershaw finished off the eighth with nothing else on his books. Kershaw’s posted a 2.13 ERA in 15 starts against the Angels in his career, and that was his best one so far. He might need eight scoreless for the Dodgers to have a chance tonight.

Reid Detmers starts for the Angels for the 13th time this season. The Angels have only won four of his previous 12 starts and he has a 4.48 ERA/3.49 FIP this season. That ERA was 5.15 a couple weeks ago, but Detmers has been on a roll the last couple times through the rotation. Detmers got his first win of the season on June 8, as he allowed a run over 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs. He allowed a run in six innings against the Rangers, but the bullpen allowed five runs in two innings (seems familiar) and he took a tough no-decision. He’s struck out eight batters in each of the last two games after only reaching that mark once in his first 10 starts (12 strikeouts on May 19).

Detmers got a look at the Dodgers last season and it started off poorly. He allowed two walks and a Will Smith homer in the first inning, and then allowed two more singles before getting out of the inning. He allowed another homer in the third and issued a walk in the fourth before being pulled with two outs in the inning.

Detmers primarily throws a fastball (averages 94.9 MPH, 40.9 percent usage) and slider (90 MPH, 38.3 percent usage). That isn’t a great difference in velocity, but he still runs a 39 percent whiff rate on his slider (according to Baseball Savant). He also throws a curveball 17.7 percent of the time and he’s only allowed six hits on it this season (196 pitches thrown). He’s thrown 35 changeups, all to righties, and they have three hits in seven batted balls against it.

Chris Taylor remains out of the lineup, with James Outman getting a rare start against a lefty.


Your daily bullpen roster move.

Former Angels’ draftee Ryan Brasier has been selected and is added to the Dodger bullpen. Brasier was DFA’s by the Red Sox in May after allowing 17 runs in 21 innings this season. 12 of those 17 runs came in four outings and 13 of his 20 outings were scoreless. He appeared in two games for OKC and didn’t allow a baserunner. In his last outing he tossed two perfect innings and struck out five of the six batters he faced.

Bryan Hudson made his major league debut on Saturday and threw a perfect eighth inning, but returned for the ninth and gave up three runs on four hits and a walk. Andre Jackson was designated for assignment.

The Dodgers also made a minor-league signing.

David Dahl joins the OKC Dodgers on a minor league contract. Dahl played in four games for the Padres this season and his only hit in nine at bats was a homer.


Julio Urias threw a bullpen.

He threw three innings and came out of it feeling good. If all goes well, his next step would be a rehab start on Sunday with Rancho before returning next weekend in Kansas City.

Taylor’s expected to be available to hit and the hope is he’ll be back in the lineup this weekend against Houston. Max Muncy could join him, he took ABs against Urias today and could return Friday after his 10 day IL stint ends.


Tomorrow’s starter is listed as TBD.

Michael Grove seems to be the guy, if someone happens to go on the IL. That might not be Taylor, however.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA and TBS.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.