Dodgers @ Mets July 15, 2023: Gonsolin vs. Senga

Julio Urias absolutely cruised through six innings last night, allowing just three baserunners with seven strikeouts. The offense put up six runs, three against Justin Verlander, and easily secured their first win of the second half.

Tonight features Tony Gonsolin up against the right-handed Kodai Senga. Senga has been the best starting pitcher for the Mets this year, which partly explains the Mets’ struggles. Max Scherzer and Verlander haven’t been good enough, but they’ll look to get back on track behind the *rookie*.

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4:15 PM Queens
2B Betts CF Nimmo (L)
1B Freeman (L) SS Lindor (S)
C Smith LF McNeil (L)
3B Muncy (L) 1B Alonso
DH Martinez DH Vogelbach (L)
LF Peralta (L) C Alvarez
RF Heyward (L) RF Stewart (L)
CF Outman (L) 3B Baty (L)
SS Rojas 2B Guillorme (L)
P Gonsolin (R) P Senga (R)

For what feels like the first time in my lifetime, the Dodgers will send out the exact same lineup in back to back games. It makes sense to do, as this lineup is probably the most potent the team can offer at the moment.

The team has four players in the top 15 in OPS in all of baseball, with Mookie Betts (.962), Freddie Freeman (.955), J.D. Martinez (.880), and Will Smith (.872). Max Muncy will hit cleanup before Martinez just for lineup construction purposes, but despite the .195 average, he still owns a 118 wRC+ and .802 OPS. That also jumps up to a 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. After that it’s David Peralta who owns an .885 OPS and 141 wRC+ since the beginning of May. Jason Heyward follows him with an .802 OPS on the year and an .863 OPS since mid May. After Heyward, James Outman gets the start in center field, and has quietly had a great July thus far, with a .333/.419/.593 slash, and 177 wRC+. That’s also with “just” a 25.8% strikeout rate, which would be his lowest strikeout rate in any month this year.

Gonsolin doesn’t really feature any true platoon splits, but still the Mets will stack left-handed batters against him. One of the top catching prospects in all of baseball, the power hitting Francisco Alvarez, has been heating up and has reverse splits, with a 155 wRC+ and .939 OPS against right-handed pitching. After him, all of Brandon Nimmo (129 wRC+), Pete Alonso (123), Francisco Lindor (117), and Daniel Vogelbach (111) are above average against right-handed pitching.


Here’s how the two starters match up.

Gonsolin improved to 5-3 in his last outing with a victory over the Angels. He allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk over 6.2 innings with five strikeouts. He’s now allowed exactly four runs for his third straight start, but this was the best outing of the bunch as he went a season-high 6.2 frames on an efficient 77 pitches. He’s allowed a total of 19 earned runs over his last 21 innings pitched. If they’re more like his last outing however, and he can go seven innings, that dramatically helps the team and their bullpen. If it’s like the prior start however, where he allowed four runs over 3.2 innings, that won’t cut it. He sat 92.8 MPH in his last outing with his fastball, which is a decent spot for him and slightly above his season average of 92.3. It’s still down from 93.1 last year, 93.8 the year prior, and 95.1 in 2020, but as long as he remains effective it doesn’t really matter all that much. Unfortunately the usual performance hasn’t been there this season, but a 3.86 ERA is definitely acceptable.

Senga allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out twelve over eight innings to earn the win in his last outing against the Diamondbacks (thank you). Senga nearly got a no decision for that performance, but the Mets pulled ahead in the top of the ninth inning. It’s the second time he’s recorded double-digit strikeouts this season, and the seventh time he’s limited an opponent to one run or less. He owns a very solid 3.31 ERA, with 113 strikeouts to 47 walks through 89.2 innings on the year. He’s shown six separate pitches this year, but primarily relies on just three. He throws a four-seam fastball roughly 40% of the time that sits in the mid to high 90’s, mixing in a cutter that sits around 90 MPH, and a forkball that sits in the low 80’s. He throws both of those roughly a quarter of the time, adding a mid 80’s sweeper around 9% of the time. 

He’s really difficult to hit, gets strikeouts, but is very susceptible to walking batters. He owns a 2.59 ERA going back to May 30, over his last seven starts, so he’s been in a good run of form and the Dodgers’ bats will need to show up.


Noah Syndergaard returning could be useful, but repeating his 7.16 ERA will not work.


Not a ton going on besides that. The Arizona Diamondbacks lost earlier today, so the Dodgers could go up two games in the division with a win today.

First pitch is at 4:15 PM PT on FOX.

About Allan Yamashige

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Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!