Despite the recent struggles of Josh Beckett and Dan Haren, the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation still stacks up against the best in the league because of the three at the top.
Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu form one of the better trios in any rotation. All three will be taking the mound this week against one of the better offenses in the league in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
According to Mark Saxon of ESPN LA, Mattingly believes that one of the two strengths will prevail:
I always look at it like pitching stops hitting, and no matter how good teams are, it depends who’s pitching,” Mattingly said. “It changes things.”
While the Dodgers will still have Haren go one of the nights, they will send out their top arms. Kershaw was named Pitcher of the Month for July, while Greinke is coming off consecutive strong outings. Ryu has been tough on the road this season and will be pitching in Anaheim on Thursday.
Despite saying that pitching will likely triumph, Mattingly also praised their upcoming opponent:
Mike’s teams are always prepared, and you know they’re going to play smart,” Mattingly said. “They usually play fast. I know he’s gotten away from that a little bit, but they usually play fast and they put pressure on you, so they let you know where you’re at.”
The Dodgers recently faced off against another top AL team when they played the Detroit Tigers. They lost both games in Detroit against Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, but did not send out Kershaw. The Angels currently hold the second-best record in the AL, while the Dodgers hold the best record in the NL.
This series could determine a lot for the Dodgers as they will attempt to prove they can hang with the top teams of the league.
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