Rockies @ Dodgers – August 13, 2023: Looking to conclude Fernandomania Weekend with a sweep

Dodger Stadium Entrance
Photo: Cody Bashore

Since putting up 13 runs in the series finale against the Padres back on Monday, the Dodgers have actually only averaged 3.8 runs per game against the Diamondbacks and Rockies. That hasn’t actually mattered in the slightest as the Dodgers’ pitching staff, facing the free falling D-backs and worst wRC+ team in baseball (76 wRC+) with the Rockies, has allowed just seven runs in the five-game stretch.

Amazingly, it doesn’t necessarily get too much tougher after Colorado as the Brewers (89 wRC+, 25th), the Marlins (97 wRC+, 17th) and the Guardians (90 wRC+, T-23rd) are all below league average as well. But before the Dodgers get those series, a win against the Rockies today would be just the first against a team other than the Padres since April 30. Before the Dodgers snapped their 10-game losing streak on Sunday’s last weekend in San Diego, the team had beaten the Padres on May 7 and May 14.

Those were the final two games of a four-game win streak on Sundays that began on April 23 against the Cubs and April 30 against the Cardinals. Overall, the Dodgers are just 5-13 on Sundays in 2023. Of course, some of those loses came when the team was hovering around or just above .500, not on the 97/98 win pace they have now regained over the past two weeks. Back in the Trade Deadline Primer I wrote, 97 seemed to be on the high end based on their second-half results over the years, so hopefully this is going to continue and prove me wrong.

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6:10 P.M. Los Angeles
SS Tovar RF Betts
LF Profar (S) 1B Freeman (L)
2B Rodgers C Smith
DH Diaz DH Rosario
RF Jones (L) 2B Hernandez
3B Trejo 3B Muncy (L)
1B Montero LF Taylor
CF Doyle CF Outman (L)
C Wynns SS Rojas
P Freeland (L) P Urias (L)

Mookie Betts returns from his illness and Freddie Freeman did not die after being hit by a pitch last night as both are at the top of the order.

On the other hand, J.D. Martinez may be dead as he remains out of the lineup and still on the “active” roster. The left-handed Kyle Freeland brings the now terrifying middle of the order consisting of Amed Rosario in the clean-up spot with Kiké Hernandez behind him as Jason Heyward and David Peralta are on the bench as expect with Austin Barnes and the aforementioned Martinez.

Betts (.821 OPS), Chris Taylor (.872), Will Smith (.946) all have strong career numbers against Freeland, but no one is better than Miguel Rojas and his .962. That comes in just 11 career at-bats, but he’s got four hits and a walk in his career against the lefty.


Here’s the very abbreviated pitching comparison between the two left-handed starters:

IP92 1/3119

In his last time out, Freeland allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out four in 6 innings against the Brewers. While he missed a stretch in July with a dislocated shoulder, Freeland has a 4.71 ERA in 28 2/3 innings since the start of July. That’s nearly identical to his 4.88 ERA in 90 1/3 innings from March, April, May and June, though the OPS allowed in the past five starts (.939) is a bit higher than it was from the first 17 starts this season (.801).

The Dodgers faced Freeland in his final start of June, with four hits and five walks turning into six runs across 5 innings in Colorado. The walks were a season high while the seven strikeouts is Freeland’s second-highest total in a game this season.

Freeland’s K% is down to the lowest of his seven years in the major leagues and his Whiff Percentile ranking is down to the 2nd percentile and 16.9% for the season, well behind the previous career lows of 11th and 18.1%.

Meanwhile, Urias is coming off his first back-to-back scoreless outings of the season after going 5 innings against the Athletics and 6 innings against the D-backs while allowing a total of seven hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Urias has a strong pair of outings against the Pirates and Mets in his final start of the first half and first start of the second half, but followed those up with possibly the worst start of his career against the Orioles.

In his career, Urias has a 4.58 ERA in 90 1/3 career innings. Some of those troubles came much earlier in his career as Urias finished 5 2022 starts against the Rockies with a 3.91 ERA across 25 1/3 innings and faced Colorado back on April 4 and allowed just five hits in 6 scoreless innings with six strikeouts.


Bill Plunkett asking the real questions about Just Dingers:


First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA and maybe will even work on MLB TV today.

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.