Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Ryu Should Be 3rd Starter Come October

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 30: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 30: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu /

With the Dodgers looking forward to the postseason questions will start to resurface about the rotation. The team has a plethora of options to choose from, but who will rise to the occasion?

The Dodgers took two out of three from San Francisco this week, finally ending their horrendous losing streak. With their minds set on October, Los Angeles will be looking at each player and their performances down the stretch. Often, the players riding hot streaks into October are the ones who earn the most playing time. And while much of the starting lineup will be debated, it’s the rotation that will ultimately be Dave Roberts’ toughest challenge.

Thus far, there are only two starters who will absolutely be in the playoff rotation (Keep in mind, typically teams only use four starters in the playoffs). Clayton Kershaw is sure to be the primary starter come playoff time, and Yu Darvish is shaping up to be the second man in line.

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Aside from those two, there are a bunch of question marks with who will start. It will no doubt be a combination of Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood, but there hasn’t been a clear front-runner.

Those four guys have been on and off all season, but none of them have been a terrible disappointment this season either. Aside from Wood, they all carry roughly the same season earned run average, and have all started 22-24 games apiece. Wood is the only one who has outperformed the others, but, before his stellar start against Washington, he was hammered in his previous seven outings or so.

Judging a player’s hot streak is difficult in of itself, but even more so when the team is in a drought. Looking back at these players’ last five starts, each has had similar results. Wood carried an ERA of 4.50 over his previous five, and Rich Hill had a 4.40 (before his stellar start vs. Washington). Ryu has been the sharpest with a 3.81 over five outings, and Maeda has not done great with an ERA of 6.26 most recently.

So right off the bat, you consider taking Maeda off of that list if playoffs started today. The next logical step would be to compare how each player has shaped up over the second half of the season.

From those stats, Ryu would be the logical front-runner of the remaining three. Ryu has carried an ERA 1 full run lower than Hill, and two less than Wood in the second half. Sitting at a 2.60 mark, Ryu has been spectacular since the All-Star break.

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With the best performance of the four over his last five starts as well as the best performance in the second half, Ryu should certainly start behind Kershaw and Darvish at of now. Each starter will likely get 2 to 3 more starts a piece with 16 games left, so only time will tell.