Dodgers @ Rangers July 23, 2023: Sheehan and Co. go for the sweep

The Dodgers (57-40) beat the Texas Rangers (58-41) last night by a score of 16-3. The bats exploded and gave Bobby Miller more than enough support. They now own a four game lead in the NL West, their biggest division lead of the year. They’re 10-2 in their last twelve games, and would love to add a sweep on the road against one of the best teams in baseball.

There are two things going against them however, the team has had issues both closing series, and the inability to win on Sundays. The last game the Dodgers won on a Sunday was on Mother’s Day back in the middle of May, improving their record to 26-15. They’ll look to get out of both of those slides behind Emmet Sheehan, up against the left-handed Martin Perez.

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11:35 PM Arlington
2B Betts 2B Semien
1B Freeman (L) RF Jankowski (L)
DH Martinez 1B Lowe (L)
LF Taylor 3B Jung
3B Muncy (L) C Heim (S)
CF Outman (L) SS Duran
SS Rojas DH Miller (L)
RF Deluca CF Taveras (S)
C Barnes LF Smith (L)
P Sheehan (R) P Pérez (L)

The Dodgers have upped their game against left-handed pitching over the last couple months. It’s been their kryptonite for ages, and this year they’ve been quite good against left-handed pitching as a whole. Their 111 wRC+ is eighth in baseball, while their .778 OPS is sixth. They do it in a very modern fashion however, with the fourth highest slugging percentage (.454), second highest isolated slugging (.226), and the highest walk rate (11.4%). This also results in the second lowest batting average against LHP at .228. They’re very effective yet they’re not racking up hits, but getting on base and slugging instead.

James Outman gets the start in center field with both David Peralta and Jason Heyward on the bench against the left-handed Pérez. Mookie Betts will start at second base once again as Jonny Deluca starts in right field. Chris Taylor will bat cleanup, and Austin Barnes will be behind the plate. Later on in the season, you’d hope this isn’t the go-to lineup against LHP. It could really use another right-handed bat in the outfield and the infield, with Betts in right field in a perfect world. The closest they’d come to that soon barring any trades, would be Jake Marisnick in the outfield if he were healthy, and Miguel Vargas at second if and when he comes back up.


Here’s how the two starters matchup.

Sheehan (3-0) allowed four runs on five hits and three walks over five innings in his last outing, with two strikeouts in a win against the Orioles. Sheehan allowed three runs over the first two innings but settled in, earning the win and improving to 3-0. The 23 year-old has struggled in his last two outings now, as he’s allowed nine runs over his last 8.2 innings with six strikeouts and seven walks. He’ll look to improve today, but the Rangers are an extremely tough matchup. He’s still yet to receive a loss, so even with his struggles he hasn’t really allowed the games to get out of hand.

Pérez allowed three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out two over five innings in his last outing, against the Guardians. With the Rangers adding in free agency considerably over the last two years, it’d been a talking point to see how Pérez would perform moving forward as the team attempts to be more competitive (and they clearly are). He has a career 4.46 ERA and 4.42 FIP with a 16.0% strikeout rate and has allowed 1.03 home runs per nine innings over 1395 innings. It’s an interesting point because last year he had a 2.89 ERA, 3.27 FIP, with a 20.6% strikeout rate, and allowed just eleven home runs in 196.1 innings (0.50 home runs per nine). If he’d perform close to that again, Texas would love where they were at, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to replicate that. The Dodgers generally aren’t the team you want to face when you want to get things back on track, but it’s a series finale, a Sunday, a day game, a weaker lineup, and a pitcher they should be able to hit. Everything going for the Rangers.


The team is doing fine as of late, but could obviously use Clayton Kershaw back in the rotation as soon as possible. Early August still seems like the expected return time.


First pitch is at 11:35 AM PT on SNLA.

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!