The Dodgers are a 100-win team in Major League Baseball. You wouldn’t expect many question marks to be remaining for a team with a record of 100-56. Nevertheless, Los Angeles sits 44 games over .500 and still has a few loose ends to tie up ahead of October baseball.
Is it the @Dodgers year? pic.twitter.com/2EqJsgWjbY
— MLB (@MLB) September 22, 2019
First there’s the matter of home field advantage, and how long they can hold it through the postseason. They sit 2 games behind Houston for the best record in all of baseball, and have a magic number of 1 to guarantee they play more games at Dodger Stadium against National League teams.
With the club diverting interest away from World Series home field advantage, instead a focus on health will dominate the final week of the regular season. Moreover, an opportunity to lineup their potential postseason rotation is what the Dodgers may be looking at.
Now, the club has announced its starters for the final 4 games of the season.
Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Rich Hill are set to finish out the string for LA. Quickly, you read into that order and look toward October 3rd for Dave Roberts and company.
You don’t have to squint to see the Dodgers’ rotation order for the next week. But will it continue in the postseason? Notes: https://t.co/gHWS7ko75a
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) September 23, 2019
As noted by J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register, Doc isn’t ready to commit to any order for the playoffs.
If you look at our three guys, they’re very interchangeable even going into their last starts. Clayton on Thursday, Walker, then Hyun-Jin – we can still kind of pivot, as far as aligning them 1, 2 and 3. I don’t think we can make a bad decision.
Any way you line them up works well indeed. While Hill still has a lot to prove in a short amount of time, Kershaw, Buehler, and Ryu are locks to pitch any of games 1-3. It’s worth noting that all three pitches suffer from moderate home/road splits when it comes to ERA.
Certainly Ryu’s 1.77 ERA at home (and propensity to hit home runs at Dodger Stadium) stands out. And while his 2.95 road ERA is the lowest in the road column, it also marks the biggest split of the three.
There doesn’t seem to really be a right answer when lining up the rotation, there can unfortunately be a wrong one in a hurry when it comes to October baseball.