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Starting pitchers have been lasting longer against the Dodgers of late

LA hosts Rockies for three games at Dodger Stadium

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
Getting into the bullpen earlier in games is key for the Dodgers’ offense.
Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

The Dodgers don’t face Chad Kuhl in this series against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, so they have that going for them, at least.

Kuhl pitched a shutout against Los Angeles at Coors Field last week, kickstarting a week of mostly impressive starting pitching against the Dodgers (with a few exceptions). Six of the seven starting pitchers to face LA last week lasted at least five innings, and in addition to Kuhl, three Padres starters struck out double-digit Dodgers.

Buoyed by Kuhl, starters against the Dodgers last week averaged six innings, but LA made its hay against the bullpens:

  • Starters vs. LA: 42 IP, 18 runs, 15 walks, 47 strikeouts, 3.86 ERA
  • Bullpens vs. LA: 18 IP, 11 runs, 5 walks, 18 strikeouts, 5.50 ERA

Starting pitchers dating back to June 17, the last 16 games, are averaging 5.75 innings against the Dodgers. That might not seem like a lot, but across the sport this season starters only average 5.16 innings per start. The two teams whose starters last the longest — Astros (5.71 innings per start) and Padres (5.67) — don’t last as long as starters have against the Dodgers the last 2½ weeks.

Dodgers-Rockies matchup

Stat Rockies Dodgers
Stat Rockies Dodgers
Record 35-44 (.443) 49-29 (.628)
Split 12-23 road 23-13 home
Matchup W 4 2
Run diff. -68 (24th) +138 (2nd)
RS/game 4.56 (11th) 5.04 (1st)
wRC+ 91 (25th) 114 (t-3rd)
HR 74 (t-21st) 99 (t-8th)
SB 15 (t-28th) 54 (5th)
RA/game 5.42 (28th) 3.27 (3rd)
ERA 4.98 (28th) 2.96 (3rd)
ERA+ 96 (t-21st) 144 (1st)
FIP 4.30 (23rd) 3.43 (3rd)
IP/start 5.28 (10th) 5.33 (9th)
K rate 18.0% (30th) 24.7% (5th)
BB rate 8.1% (12th) 7.0% (2nd)

Starters weren’t lasting as long against the Dodgers in April and May, which was certainly influenced by the truncated spring training and pitchers not being fully built up when the season began. But the Dodgers were also punishing starting pitchers, who had a 6.07 ERA against LA through the first 49 games of the year, averaging 4.66 innings per start.

Since June 1, starting pitchers against the Dodgers are averaging 5.37 innings with a 3.82 ERA.

Here are the starting pitchers the Dodgers will try to knock out early in this three game series against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium:

Monday, 6:10 p.m.

Kyle Freeland vs. Julio Urías

The Dodgers scored five runs against Freeland on opening day, getting him out of the game in the fourth inning. He allowed three runs in six innings in a win over Los Angeles last Tuesday. Both starts were in Colorado.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.

German Márquez vs. Mitch White

Márquez stymied the Dodgers with seven innings of one-run ball on April 9, but allowed five runs in 3⅓ innings last Wednesday. Márquez has a 2.09 ERA in six career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.

TBD vs. Tony Gonsolin

With Antonio Senzatela landing on the injured list over the weekend, this opens a spot for the Rockies. Right-hander Ryan Feltner, who already started seven times for the Rockies this season, was optioned on June 27, so there would need to be someone going on the injured list for him to be called up before his 15 days are up.