Dodgers @ Rangers July 22, 2023: Miller looks to give the Dodgers another series win

The Dodgers returned to Globe Life for the first time since their World Series win in 2020 and took the opener of the series in pretty commanding fashion. They overcame a not-great Tony Gonsolin start as five relievers combined for four scoreless innings and the offense put up seven runs over the last three innings en route to an 11-5 win. It pushed the Dodgers to 56-40, three games ahead of both the Diamondbacks and Giants in the NL West.

Today, the Dodgers look to continue their post All-Star Break trend, as they’ve won the first two games in both of the series they’ve played since the Break.

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1:05 PM Arlington
2B Betts 2B Semien
1B Freeman (L) LF Jankowski (L)
C Smith 1B Lowe (L)
3B Muncy (L) RF Garcia
DH Martinez 3B Jung
LF Peralta (L) DH Heim (S)
RF Heyward (L) C Garver
CF Outman (L) SS Duran
SS Rojas CF Taveras (S)
P Miller (R) P Dunning (R)

Bobby Miller makes his 10th start of the season today. After a dominant start to his big league career, Miller crashed down to earth hard in his four starts before the All-Star Break. He allowed 20 runs in 21 innings, often falling into a trap of having one or two trainwreck innings. He bounced back with a weird start in New York after the break, as he allowed two baserunners in the first four innings. The fifth started to feel like one of those trainwreck innings, as he allowed a single and then loaded the bases on a hit by pitch and a walk. He got a tapper back to the mound that could have been an inning-ending double play, but couldn’t field it cleanly and had to take only one out as a run scored. Dave Roberts chose to pull him after that at only 77 pitches, and Brusdar Graterol ended the inning without further damage to Miller’s line. It’ll be interesting to see if Roberts continues to be aggressive with the hook on Miller, especially if it feels like an inning is about to snowball.

Dane Dunning gets the start for Texas. He’ll be making his 14th start of the season and 22nd appearance overall, as he started the season in the bullpen. He was excellent out of the bullpen with 12 hits and four earned runs (five total) allowed in 20 1/3 innings. He was moved into the rotation on May 5 when Jacob deGrom got injured and has been less excellent but still pretty good on the surface. In his 13 starts, he’s posted a 3.09 ERA/4.07 FIP in 78 2/3 innings. He’s allowed more than two runs in only four of those 13 starts, but has only struck out more than four in a game three times in that stretch (and only once in his last eight starts). His 15.8 percent strikeout rate is the fourth-lowest among all qualified pitchers. He’s coming off a strong start against the Rays, where he allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings. Dunning started against the Dodgers back in 2021, and allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings (including a Mookie Betts homer).

Dunning has succeeded in the most important part of being a pitcher, preventing runs allowed. However, there’s some concerning underlying metrics. He’s thrown six different pitch types according to Baseball Savant, four of which he’s thrown >10 percent of the time. His changeup (16.7 percent of the time) is the only one of his pitches that isn’t outperforming his expected numbers by a notable amount. He’s allowing a .308 average and .462 slugging against it, with expected numbers being .305 and .482, respectively. However, his three most-used pitches are outperforming their expected numbers much more heavily.

Percent UsageBAxBASLGxSLG

It’s not that his expected numbers are awful, but it makes sense to see some areas of potential regression.

The Dodgers return to their normal lineup against righties, with Betts starting at second and the three lefties in the outfield. Corey Seager is out of the lineup for the Rangers after leaving yesterday’s game with a thumb injury. Texas seems to think he’ll be heading to the IL.


Clayton Kershaw is still on his road to returning.

Kershaw threw a bullpen and came out of it well, and will throw another before facing hitters.


First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 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.