Dodgers-Cubs Game 2 Preview


Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s this Mat Latos guy, eh? What’s his deal? You wouldn’t be remiss if you forgot about him (or are cursing considering the fact that he’s starting tonight) but he’s only made 3 starts for the team and has been pretty awful, in 14.2 innings he’s struck out 8 (and has looked even worse in that regard) and has given up 11 runs, which by any measurement is bad. But he’s starting tonight after a lengthy demotion to the bullpen to line up Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to pitch versus San Francisco.

The team could use a competent Latos, even if that means taking him in his 2014 form, there is room for optimism considering his velocity has been trending upwards and back to his 2013 levels, the question then should be “where did the strikeouts go”, the Dodgers are going to need him to figure that out for him to be a reliable member of the rotation, otherwise it’s back to the bullpen for him.

In other news, i’m kinda convinced the team is going to kill Justin Turner cause of exhaustion, this is the 5th straight game he’s played in this season, which is a season high, and mostly cause there’s, uh, nobody else, if there’s one qualm not to have about the Uribe trade, is that Callaspo could play 3b, that’s not something that could be said about anybody else on the roster (25 or 40 man!)

If the lineup feels weak, it probably is, Jimmy Rollins leading off is not ideal and Carl Crawford looks awful, but at least Enrique Hernandez, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, AJ. Ellis and Scott Van Slyke are solid options to hit at this point, and the last thing that we want is Joc Pederson against a lefty right now.

Which, speaking of, Joc Pederson really is no longer a starter on the team. Ay yay yay, this is not good, after a scorching start (~3 wins through June), he’s been  below replacement level for a pretty decent amount of time. I don’t know how the team figures to use him going into September, but his long term projection appears to be just as murky as it was going into the Spring last season, through his first 525 PA’s he’s got a 119 wRC+ but I have no idea what happens with him considering that the team is in a “win now” state.

Jon Lester isn’t pitching like the ace he normally is, a 3.44 ERA is good for a 89 ERA-, and while his FIP is lower, at 3.13, it’s well behind his 2014 season, so he’s probably not as unbeatable as he was as recently as last year.

Securing a win would be solid because the Giants are losing to the Cardinals, so go team!