Dodgers @ Royals June 30, 2023: Bobby Miller looks for a bounceback start as Dodgers open the series in Kansas City

The Dodgers relatively survived Coors Field (in before Clayton Kershaw‘s arm falls off) and came away with a series win. Despite dropping a frustrating middle game of the series and sitting through a two-hour rain delay last night, the Dodgers rode a six-run fourth inning to a 14-3 win. The Dodgers currently sit two games back in the NL West behind the Diamondbacks and a half game up on the Giants. Arizona opens a series in Anaheim tonight, and the Giants visit the Mets.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are in Kansas City for a series against the second-worst team in baseball. The Royals own the second-lowest winning percentage in baseball (23-58, good for a .284 winning percentage) and the second-worst run differential (-135 runs). Both of these numbers are only better than the A’s, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The Royals are not good, folks.

They’ve only won one series at home this season, as they beat the White Sox in three of four games back in May. They did split a four-game series against the Rays last weekend, but are coming off nearly getting swept by the Guardians. They lost the first two games and Jose Ramirez stole home to take a lead in extra innings, but they walked off on Emmanuel Clase to salvage a game. The Dodgers and Royals played in Kansas City last season, with the Dodgers taking the first two games by a combined score of 21-6. However, Brady Singer held the Dodgers to one hit over six innings as they took the finale 4-0.

Image Image
5:10 PM Kansas City
2B Betts SS Witt Jr
1B Freeman (L) LF Melendez (L)
C Smith DH Perez
3B Muncy (L) 3B Garcia
DH Martinez 1B Pratto (L)
LF Peralta (L) C Fermin
RF Heyward (L) CF Isbel (L)
CF Outman (L) RF Waters (S)
SS Rojas 2B Lopez (L)
P Miller (L) P Marsh (R)

Bobby Miller looks to bounce back after a rough stretch. He started his career off making it look easy, as he allowed two earned runs in his first four outings combined. His last two starts have been… not that. He threw four shutout innings against the Giants, but things fell apart in the fifth. Miller tried a pickoff at second and the ball ended up in the outfield, then allowed an RBI single and hit a batter before allowing a homer. He started the sixth with a walk and a single, and got an out but allowed an RBI single. A strikeout ended his night, but Alex Vesia came in and allowed a walk to load the bases before allowing a grand slam which game Miller two more earned runs (for seven total in 5 2/3 innings).

His last start was equally fine until it wasn’t, as he allowed a run over the first four innings but fell apart in the fifth after a self-imposed mistake. Miller allowed a single and a walk, and was late to cover first on a drag bunt by Jose Altuve to load the bases. Alex Bregman hit a grand slam, and Miller allowed another walk, double and RBI single to end his night. I’m no expert, but allowing the first seven batters of an inning to reach base is not the strategy I would go with. All six runs came off Miller, as Yency Almonte came in with runners on the corners and no outs and stranded everyone. Miller’s been mostly good this season, but has appeared to lose composure when something goes wrong (especially when that something is his own fault).

Miller is the grizzled vet in this game, as Royals starter Alec Marsh is making his Major League debut. The 25-year-old was a second round pick in 2019 and he’s had a bit of a weird minor league career. He’s bounced between AAA and AA this season and last, and has had a lot more success at the higher level. He’s only made five starts at AAA, but has only allowed six earned runs in those 25 innings. In his AA career, Marsh has allowed 135 runs in 187 innings. Marsh is the Royals’ 14th-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline, and they state that he’s a power pitcher with a good breaking ball. They also state he needs to improve on his changeup, as lefties hit .353 off him last year. He threw a season-high 97 pitches last outing.

They brought him up a bit before August 1st.


There might be a roster move in the next hour?

Over/under 5.5 minutes after I post this thread that the roster move gets announced. Daniel Hudson is with the Dodgers and could be activated tonight. It would require a 40-man roster move along with a 26-man move.

If this game gets banged I am not writing tomorrow.



The Dodgers won’t have a chance to face Chapman this weekend.

In undoubtably the biggest news about a player changing teams today, Chapman was traded to Texas. He’s a rental and brought back Cole Ragans, who was FanGraphs’ 20th-best prospect for the Rangers last season, and Roni Cabrera. That’s setting a reasonably low starting point for the rental reliever market, and Chapman has been pretty great this season (2.45 ERA, 53 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings).


It’s been a poorly kept secret, but Mookie Betts will officially participate in the Home Run Derby.


First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

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.