The Los Angeles Dodgers figure to have some tough decisions on their hands when it presumably will come time to set their 25-man roster for the National League Division Series. Included in that is which pitcher to go with as the No. 3 starter.
Now, if you’re new to this, you may be thinking, ‘Who cares who gets the No. 3 spot and who gets the No. 4 spot?’ Well, let me remind you about two gentlemen by the name of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
No, they’re obviously not the No. 3 and No. 4 starters, but they’re the two pitchers who will each start twice (if needed) in a five-game series. Which brings us back to the battle for No. 3 and the right to make a start in the first round of the NL Playoffs.
The candidates? Brett Anderson and Alex Wood. It’s ironic the Dodgers find themselves here at the end of the season, mostly because the No. 3 spot was assumed to be filled by either Hyun-Jin Ryu or Brandon McCarthy.
While both were lost to injuries, the Dodgers are fortunate to be choosing between two other capable starters in Anderson and Wood.
Let’s begin with Wood, the newcomer via Atlanta in the trade that sent Hector Olivera out of town. On the season he’s 11-12 with a 3.89 ERA, 135 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 182.2 IP (30 starts).
For the Dodgers, Wood has largely been on par with his season numbers, going 4-6 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 63.1 IP (11 starts).
Of course, we can’t talk about Wood without discussing one of his recent outings — an eight-inning gem in which he allowed just one hit and no walks while striking out five. Oh, and it took him just 78 (!) pitches.
Then again, just a few days earlier, Wood lasted just 1.2 innings and allowed eight runs (six earned). He also struggled a bit Sunday, getting charged for eight runs in 5.1 innings; albeit at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
CONTINUE READING: Examining Brett Anderson’s Résumé