Dodgers Vs Phillies: Injury Bug Keeps Biting LA
The Dodgers look to stay in the running in the race for the NL West as they wrap up their series with the Philadelphia Phillies. This will be a battle of the unknowns as Mitch White will start against Ranger Suarez; both pitchers combined have started three games this season.
So, with next to no information on either of these guys, what team has the advantage here? Are the Dodgers just that good; they can plug and play anyone as the starter and continue to keep pace in the NL West?
Injuries Continue to Decimate the Dodgers
There is never a good time to see guys get hurt, but if you were ever going to name one it’s now for LA. The silver lining here is that the Dodgers are, for all intents and purposes, getting at least a wildcard spot and a handful of their injured guys will be ready to roll come playoff time. The injury bug has bit LA hard specifically at the pitching position; the Dodgers currently have 15 pitchers listed on their DL. MVP candidate Max Muncy deserves a lot of credit for keeping this Dodger offense humming by hitting .274 with 23 homers and a .953 OPS. This team has taken these injuries in stride and is 5-2 in the month of August. Since the beginning of August, this Dodger lineup is smashing lefties, which could spell trouble for the Phillies young left hander. If you remember earlier in the season, the Mets hung 24 runs on the Phillies; he was part of that dumpster fire and surrendered eight runs over four innings in that game. This Dodgers lineup is also second in the league since the beginning of August in runs, RBI’s, and walks against lefties.
Consistency is Key for Philadelphia
The Dodgers put a screeching halt to Philadelphia’s eight game win streak and the key for this Phillies team is how will they respond? They were consistently up and down before that long win streak and them being able to win that division will likely how consistent they can be and string wins together. Since the start of August, Philly ranks second against righties hitting .287. Two thirds of this Phillies lineup is hitting right around .250 or above, crowding the base’s and crushing right-handed pitching. The Phillies are a live dog in this game. The bullpens are on two different tiers. The Dodgers pen has been solid at a 3.55 ERA and a 1.5 run average per every 3.5 innings pitched. The Phillies are a pause for concern when it comes to their pen with their ERA a full run higher at 4.52 and allowing 2.2 runs per 3.5 innings of relief it could be a very long afternoon if Suarez struggles.
This is a bullpen game for both teams. These guys are being looked at to go out there and go for right around three innings. The challenge is the limited sample size for both guys, but you have to like what White was able to do in his first start, striking out five batters over a little more than three innings, and only allowing two hits and one walk. Suarez on the other hand has been lit up a couple times this season and does not have strike out stuff, has some control issues and has issued multiple walks in several of his short starts. Then the bullpens come into play, which clearly favors the Dodgers. With the Dodgers still having a very strong lineup despite injuries and Suarez’s control issues, this will likely boil down to whose bullpen can perform the best, take the Dodgers first Five -.5.
Pick: Dodgers F5 -.5