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Dodgers Indirectly Set Potential Postseason Rotation

The 4 you expect are all lined up.

Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler in the Dodgers' dugout during game one of the National League Divisional Series.
LOS ANGELES, CA- OCTOBER 5: Clayton Kershaw, left, along with Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers look on in the fourth inning of game one of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves] at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, October 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/Digital First Media/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

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.

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.

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 pitchers suffer from moderate home/road splits when it comes to ERA.

Home Road
Kershaw 2.89 3.54
Buehler 2.86 3.66
Ryu 1.77 2.95

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.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

4 Comments

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  1. You should start your best……..and our best pitcher this season has been Ryu. Not Kershaw, not Buehler. But we all know “Dave” and he will start Kershaw if I don’t miss my guess.
    Hate to say this, but I think he (Roberts) is afraid of Kershaw and the wrath that would come down if Ryu gets the opener of the playoffs.
    But if you are going to do what is best for the Dodgers, Ryu should be the opener now. JMO.

  2. Agree 100%. Ryu has been their best pitcher all year long and The Dodgers should take advantage of that 1.77 ERA at home! Kershaw being a well seasoned veteran should probably start Game #3 on the road! Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if the front office directs Roberts to start Kershaw in Game #1.

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