Pirates @ Dodgers – July 5, 2023: Bobby Miller looks to bounce back against the Bucs

Bobby Miller remains the league leader in xDRIP as he takes the mound for the Dodgers on Luau Night tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Having allowed 16 runs on 22 hits and 7 walks in 15 1/3 innings since this tweet from Josh the Jinx…

…Miller could use a smooth outing after struggling against the Giants, Astros and Royals in his past three starts. The Pirates are looking to win or split a series with the Dodgers for the fourth time over the past two seasons after losing 12 straight to Los Angeles between 2019 and 2021, and 23 of 25 from 2017 to 2021. To clinch a split tonight, Pittsburgh will need 27-year-old Osvaldo Bido‘s FIP to come closer to his ERA through his first 19 career innings. Allowing 10 runs in 19 innings since making his Major League debut back on June 14 after six seasons and 121 appearances in the minors since 2017, Bido holds a 4.74 ERA to a 3.51 FIP and a 5.31 DRA.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
DH McCutchen 2B Betts
LF Reynolds (S) 1B Freeman (L)
RF Davis C Smith
1B Santana (S) 3B Muncy (L)
CF Suwinski (L) DH Martinez
2B Gonzales LF Peralta (L)
SS Marcano (L) RF Heyward (L)
3B Triolo CF Outman (L)
C Hedges SS Rojas
P Bido (R) P Miller (R)

With the right-handed Bido on the mound, the Dodgers are sending out the exact same batting order and defensive alignment. Miguel Vargas, who struck out looking twice after coming off the bench in the 8th inning last night, gets another night started from the bench as he is now 4-for-58 with a .344 OPS since a six-game hitting streak ended back on June 8 against the Reds. David Peralta‘s nine-game hitting streak ended last night, but James Outman‘s pair of home runs mean he’s at a .741 OPS while hitting 11-of-41 in his past 10 games.

Sure, that’s not great but it is still much better than the .437 OPS and 13-for-85 he went over the month before he came up with three hits against Houston on June 23.

Meanwhile, Jack Suwinski, Nick Gonzales and Jared Triolo went a combined 7-for-12 last night with three walks, four RBIs and six runs scored in the 5-6-7 spots. That trio is back in the 5-6-8 spots tonight with Tucupita Marcano in for Rodolfo Castro being the only lineup change for the Pirates following last night.


As mentioned to open this Game Thread, it’s been a rough stretch for Miller since beginning his career with just two runs allowed in 23 innings while striking out 23 to just 7 walks and 12 hits. The Astros alone nearly matched that hit total with 10 in 4 innings on June 24 while the K/BB ratio went from 23/7 down to 12/7 in his past 15 1/3 innings in those last three starts.

Yes, his BABIP has gone from .211 in the first four starts to .392 in the next three games. While Miller’s hard contact has hung right around the same rate, actually slightly going down from the 28.1% it was in those first four starts, his ground ball rate went from 54.4% in his first 23 innings to 44.2% in the next 15 1/3. That increased his line drives from 19.3% to 23.1% and fly balls from 26.3% to 32.7%. While Miller also had batters pulling half the time (50.9%) compared to 26.3% to center and 22.8% opposite field, now the spread is closer to being equal to all fields as they all sit at 39.6%, 32.1% and 28.3% respectively in the past three starts.

It’s a little frustrating for Miller as that BABIP increase can be seen in the two worst games, as the Giants had three hits with an xBA under .250 (and three others with exit velocities under 77 mph) and the Astros added two more hits under .250 xBA. That’s nearly 30% of the hits allowed in those two games combined. The Royals didn’t get luck, with all of their hits being .300 or higher, but Miller’s three runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings against Kansas City is quite a bit better than the 13 runs allowed in 9 2/3 innings against San Francisco and Houston.

Here’s an update on Miller’s overall usage through those seven starts, with that upward trend for the curve against the Royals attributed to a 25% usage against lefties to make it the second most used pitch for left-handed batters after it sat between 4 and 15% in the first six starts, usually ranking fourth in usage. The Pirates have two lefties and two switch hitters in the lineup tonight, so we will see how much the curve gets used this time out.


Spending all of 2022 in Triple-A Indianapolis after getting two starts there in 2021, Bido opened the 2023 season there once again and started 10 games in 12 appearances before being called up to the majors on June 14. Bido has been in the minors for awhile for a reason, as he last finished a level with an ERA under 4.00 in 2019 at Single-A Greensboro and High-A Bradenton with a 3.55 and a 2.25 respectively. Those were career lows at the time after opening his career in the Pirates organization with a 5.33 in the Dominican League in 2017 and a 4.18 ERA in Low-A West Virginia in 2018.

In his 19 major league innings so far, Bido has relied on an 84 mph slider, a 94 mph fastball, a 94 mph sinker, an 88 mph change and an 85 mph cutter. It’s 37.9% sinker and 33.3% slider to right-handed batters with the four-seam coming in at 16.7%. The sinker and slider are right around .300 xBA right now, with the latter at a .379 xwOBA. The slider has been hit while the sinker’s batting average is still down around .200. The four-seamer has actually been the strikeout pitch with a 22.2 Whiff% resulting in five strikeouts while the other four all closed out just one so far. The cutter’s 37.5 Whiff% is the best against right-handed batters, but has only been thrown 18 times. For lefties, it’s 41.7% four-seamers to 32.5% sliders and 18.5% changes. The four-seamer has been awful against left-handed batters with a .343 xBA, .541 xSLG and a .437 xwOBA. The actual results have been just as bad as lefties are 7-for-14 against the pitch so far. The slider has been much better at a .261 xBA, .342 xSLG and .263 xwOBA while the change has a 30.0 Whiff% and has yet to be given up for a hit (though it is in just four at-bats).

While it is about 1 to 2 mph slower, the break of Bido’s four-seamer is similar to Yency Almonte‘s and the slider is around Alex Vesia‘s. The sinker is about 1.5 mph faster, but the movement is closer to Noah Syndergaard‘s and the change hasn’t been thrown enough to officially chart, but would be also be pretty close to Syndergaard. I list all of these because it was a little funny that none of those pitches have been paricularly successful in 2023, other than Vesia getting a pretty solid Whiff% on the slider.


Mookie Betts has his first-round opponent for the very heavily tilted American League Home Run Derby.


My personal favorite Bryan Hudson has returned to the majors after appearing in one game everyone blocked out of their minds back on June 17. Hudson put the Giants down in order with a strikeout in his first career inning before coming back out for a second inning where he allowed a walk, four hits, an error on one of the hits resulting in three more runs. Since being back in Triple-A, Hudson has struck out six to one walk in 5 1/3 scoreless innings.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT from Dodger Stadium on SportsNet LA and MLB Network.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.