Dodgers @ Mets July 14, 2023: Dodgers open the second half in The Big Apple (TV+)

The All-Star break is behind us, and games return to action today. The Dodgers wrapped up the first half last Saturday by completing a season sweep of the Angels, and with some help from the Pirates on Sunday moved into first place in the NL West.

After nearly a week off, the Dodgers return to action with a tough nine-game road trip. That kicks off today in New York as they take on an underachieving Mets team that was a popular pick to go deep into October this season. They flexed their wallets in the offseason and at $348M (per Spottrac) have the highest payroll in baseball, a nice $69M more than the second highest payroll in baseball (the other New York team). That’s gotten them a 42-48 record and 18.5 games behind Atlanta in the East (the Rockies are closer to the Dodgers in the West). They took two of three in LA in April and seemed to be turning it around a bit to close the first half as they had won a season-high six straight against three NL West teams, including a much-appreciated sweep of the Diamondbacks. However, they closed out the half dropping the last two games in San Diego.

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4:10 PM Queens
2B Betts CF Nimmo (L)
1B Freeman (L) DH Pham
C Smith SS Lindor (S)
3B Muncy (L) 1B Alonso
DH Martinez RF Marte
LF Peralta (L) 2B McNeil (L)
RF Heyward (L) C Alvarez
CF Outman (L) 3B Baty (L)
SS Rojas LF Canha
P Urias (L) P Verlander (R)

Julio Urias opens up the second half for the Dodgers. His last start came in the series finale against the Pirates on July 6, and he finally looked like the Urias of old after a shaky first start off the IL. He allowed two runs on three hits in the second inning, but completed six innings and the only other baserunner he allowed was a walk to start the sixth. He only needed 88 pitches to complete six innings, which the Dodgers desperately needed after some long bullpen days.

Urias has historically been excellent in the second half. Last season after the break, Urias posted a 1.26 ERA and allowed a .532 OPS against him in 13 starts.

Justin Verlander starts for the Mets for the 13th time this season. He had a late start to the season after a shoulder injury landed him on the IL just before Opening Day. He returned in May and has had an up-and-down season, with a 3.60 ERA/4.00 FIP in 70 innings. Verlander’s had two starts where he’s allowed six runs (one of which came at Coors) and two starts where he’s allowed four runs. In his eight other starts, he’s allowed eight runs TOTAL. He’s coming off a pair of good starts against NL West opponents. On July 1, he allowed one unearned run in seven innings against the Giants. Last time out, he allowed two earned (and one unearned) runs in six innings in San Diego.

While Verlander’s overall numbers have been fine, there are some concerning trends. His 19.7 percent strikeout rate and 6.6 percent walk rate are his worst numbers since 2014. So far, he’s throwing his fastball less frequently than he has in his career (48.6 percent, albeit a smaller sample size) and it has the lowest average velocity since 2016 (94.4 MPH). He’s allowing a 90.7 MPH average exit velocity this season, the worst since Baseball Savant started tracking it.

The Dodgers roll out a pretty standard lineup against a right-handed pitcher, with Mookie Betts starting at second. James Outman, Jason Heyward and David Peralta start in the outfield.


He’s not starting, but Chris Taylor is back.

Taylor hasn’t started a game in nearly a month and when he gets in a game, will be his first game action since June 21. Jake Marisnick was also added to the active roster. Cody wrote about that acquisition yesterday. Who knows if either will get a start in New York, as the Mets are throwing three righties out there.

Shelby Miller was transferred to the 60-day IL to open up a 40-man spot for Marisnick. Jonny DeLuca was sent down to make room for Taylor, and Miguel Vargas‘ demotion before the break opened up that second roster spot.


Some not great injury news.

Clayton Kershaw was originally a game time decision to start on July 3, then placed on the IL with the expectation that he’d return after the break. About that. Kershaw will now be out until early August (at least) after an MRI revealed an undisclosed injury. He reportedly doesn’t feel anything when throwing, but is still going to be out a few weeks to heal. Reminder, the trade deadline is a few weeks away.


The Dodgers set the rest of their rotation for the series.

Tony Gonsolin will start tomorrow against Kodai Senga, and Bobby Miller will face off with Max Scherzer on Sunday. That would leave Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove to start the first two games in Pittsburgh, although the order isn’t established.


Did anyone write about the schedule release yet?

The Dodgers open the 2024 season in South Korea with a two-game set against the Padres on March 20 and 21. They’ll return to LA for the home opener on March 28 against the Cardinals.


First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PT and will be shown on Apple TV+.

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.