I’m going to do a brief breakdown of the Dodgers and Brewers pitching staffs. This topic has been covered ad nauseam, so I want to offer some insight and ideas as to how the Dodgers may use their pitching staff.
Easiest answer of the playoffs. If the Brewers had a deep enough bullpen, they’d run a bullpen game every game. Their starters for the first 3 games are as follows:
- Game 1: Gio Gonzalez
- Game 2: Wade Miley
- Game 3: Jhoulys Chacin
That doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the Dodgers. Last time the Dodgers saw Chacin, they hung 21 runs in that game. Wade Miley certainly has the potential to frustrate the Dodgers lineup, only because it always seems like pitchers of Miley’s caliber frustrate the Dodgers. I personally don’t see that happening in this series. I wrote an article before the playoffs referencing the Dodgers possible momentum. That possible momentum I alluded to appears to have been realized.
The Dodgers will counter with Kershaw, Ryu, and Buehler. I don’t have to spell out for anyone the glaring difference between our Kershaw/Ryu/Buehler, and Gonzalez/Miley/Chacin, do I? Good. After those game 3 starters, the Dodgers still have Rich Hill for game 4, which is a definite comfort. Having Kershaw get rocked in game one doesn’t exactly help our cause though.
Not surprisingly, the Brewers have a distinct advantage here. Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Joakim Soria, Corey Knebel, and Corbin Burnes. Those are the top relievers in the Brewers pen, and arguably some of the top relievers in all of Baseball. There’s no mincing this, the Brewers bullpen is very good. If the Dodgers offense can solve even a few of these guys, the Dodgers can win.
More on The Dodgers Bullpen
The Dodgers bullpen has the potential to be very good. This season has been wrought with bullpen inconsistency. With that said, there are good arms in the Dodgers pen. Kenley Jansen can still be Kenley Jansen. He looked good in the last inning against Atlanta. That’s a small sample size to be sure, but anything on the up and up with him is a good sign.
Kenta Maeda: I think the Dodgers have been misusing Kenta. I love Kenta Maeda’s stuff. His changeup is absolutely filthy, his fastball has great movement, and his slider moves with veracity. They need to stop using these weapons against left-handed hitters. The Braves were a few feet of a foul ball away from being right back in the game in game 4. That was a left-handed hitter (Duda.) Kenta Maeda’s best use out of the bullpen is absolutely as a ROOGY.
Julio Urias’s addition to the roster is a huge game changer. This news shocked the entire Dodgers Nation staff, (I actually had to erase a paragraph I had about Scott Alexander, who’s no longer on the roster for this series.) The Dodgers front office must have really liked what they saw from his mid-high 90’s relief appearances, and obviously, they must have some other data.
The rest of the Dodgers bullpen has their uses when used properly. Ultimately, it comes down to individual performances. The stuff and talent is there, we just have to hope they execute.
Overall Advantage: TBD
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