The Dodgers locked up the NL West for the tenth time in the last eleven years with a sweep against the Mariners up in Seattle this past weekend. They’re now 7-3 in their last ten, which is surprisingly tied for the best record in baseball over everyone’s previous ten games. The two teams they’re tied with at 7-3, are the Tampa Bay Rays (92-59), and the visiting Detroit Tigers (70-79). The Tigers will miss the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, but their future is looking good, and they have a solid core lined up for the post Miguel Cabrera Era. Lance Lynn will be on the mound for the Dodgers, up against the left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez.
|7:10 P.M.||Los Angeles|
|2B||McKinstry (L)||1B||Freeman (L)|
|P||Rodriguez (L)||P||Lynn (R)|
After an interesting lineup for the day game post division clinch, the team will once again put out a normal lineup. Unfortunately, this means no more Kiké Hernandez at first base. Max Muncy just passed his previous career high in RBI (98), and is now sitting at an even 100. One more home run would tie his career best 36 from 2021. He’s now put up four seasons with over 35 home runs, and is up to sixth all time in franchise home runs in Los Angeles with 174. Duke Snider and Gil Hodges hit way more, but spent the majority of their careers in Brooklyn. He’s four away from reaching the top five, needing to pass Mike Piazza (177). Jason Heyward isn’t starting against the left-handed Rodriguez, but he had himself a weekend in Seattle. He went into the weekend with a 125 wRC+ and .828 OPS, and left with a 134 wRC+ and .866 OPS, both career highs.
Detroit’s largest issue has been their offense, sitting 27th in wRC+ at 87, and 28th in OPS at .682. They’re 25th in home runs with 152, while the Dodgers are second at 232. Their slugging percentage as a whole is .378, ahead of only the Oakland A’s.They’re without Riley Greene (elbow), and Spencer Torkelson isn’t in the starting lineup tonight. They’ve been two of Detroit’s best hitters, but both are surprisingly behind Kerry Carpenter. Carpenter leads the team in wRC+ (129), and OPS at (.846), and is the only player on the team with an OPS above .800.
Miguel Cabrera is in his 21st and final season, as he’s hanging them up at the end of the year. The two-time MVP, twelve-time All-Star, four-time batting champ, and Triple Crown Winner will unanimously join the Hall of Fame in five years when eligible. He’s 18th all-time in hits with 3165, and can pass Adrian Beltre with two more. He’s 26th all-time in home runs with 510, but with Lynn on the mound he might be able to jump a few spots, trailing Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews, and Ernie Banks by just a few. Unless you follow Detroit, this’ll likely be the last time you see him play. He’s one of the best players in recent history.
Here’s how these two starters matchup amongst 79 pitchers with at least 130 innings pitched.
Lynn (11-11) allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three over seven innings to earn the win Tuesday against San Diego. He threw 111 pitches which was much appreciated, and the start was an improvement over his recent struggles. He’s clearly been one of the worst qualified starters in baseball this year, no denying that. He had a strong start to his Dodgers’ career, but has given up a total of 13 home runs in just eight starts, leading to a 4.60 ERA. Him being able to pitch deeper into games has been a substantial help regardless, and hopefully he finds a way to go into the postseason on a high note.
Rodriguez (11-7) allowed three earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks across six innings to earn the win his last time out against the Yankees. He’s been a top twenty starting pitcher in baseball this year, and was traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline, only to take advantage of his no-trade clause to remain in Detroit. It is what it is. He hasn’t been great over his last month or so, with a 4.98 ERA over 34.1 innings and six starts. He uses a few pitches, with a fastball and sinker in the low to mid 90’s, a high 80’s cutter, and a mid 80’s changeup and slider. He goes to the changeup and cutter against right-handed hitters, and goes to the sinker/slider combo frequently against lefties.
Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs took a great look at Freddie Freeman and where he stands at this point of his career in regards to potentially reaching 3000 hits.
Rest is important and I’m sure the team will prioritize that, but even though the division race is locked up, home field advantage in the postseason is still quite close. Specifically, the Dodgers (91-57), trail the Braves (96-53) by 4.5 games, the Orioles (93-56) by 1.5, and are ahead of the Rays (92-59) by half a game.
First pitch is at 7:10 PT on SNLA and MLB Network.