Dodgers vs. Astros: Which Starting Rotation has the Edge?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Clayton Kershaw
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Clayton Kershaw /
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CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 18: Alex Wood /

Game Four: Alex Wood (0-1, 5.79 ERA) vs. Lance McCullers Jr (0-0. 2.08 ERA)

Game four has the potential to be a matchup of two underrated young pitchers.  For the Dodgers, they will send Alex Wood to the mound in game four.  Wood missed some time this season with shoulder issues but still managed to go 16-3 for the Dodgers.  In his lone playoff start, Wood went 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs.  Keep in mind that Wood made his first start in nearly a month and it came in a playoff environment.  Wood was victimized by the long ball but did not pitch a bad game outside of a few pitches.

McCullers is another up and coming pitcher in the big leagues who will get a chance to make his name known on the national stage.  McCullers stymied the Yankees in a relief appearance in game seven of the ALCS tossing four shutout innings for an extended save.  McCullers features a very tight curveball that the Dodgers must do their best to avoid fishing for.  If they can spit on the curve and sit fastball they have a chance to do damage against the Astros young right-hander.

Hitters to watch

George Springer – Only Altuve, Springer, and Correa have faced Wood before, and Springer has a hit against him in three at-bats.  Wood is the kind of pitcher that Springer can feast on if he doesn’t locate his fastball.

Logan Forsythe – The Dodgers have only faced McCullers a total of 22 at-bats, and Forsythe owns seven of those at-bats.

Edge: Astros

Wood is the type of pitcher that the Astros tend to do well against.  Wood has not been throwing in the mid 90’s like he did earlier this season so if he misses he could run into some issues.  McCullers will build off of his relief appearance and mix in the curveball more to stymie the Dodger lineup.

Next: World Series Infield Matchup

Final Verdict: Overall, the Dodgers hold the edge in the rotation.  If the Dodgers can beat one of Keuchel or Verlander, then the back end of the Dodger rotation should tilt the series in the Dodgers favor.  Each game should be well pitched, but the Dodger rotation should do a little better than the rotation of the AL champs.