The Dodgers rotation has been battered with injuries all season long, but when healthy, the Dodgers have a big three that have emerged in their starting rotation.
The Dodgers will head to the horror house known as AT&T Park this weekend with their playoff hopes on the line. Both the NL West and second wildcard spots are within reach for the Dodgers although they would obviously rather take the division and avoid the one game playoff followed by a trip to Chicago or Milwaukee.
The Dodgers will face a dangerous Giants team that will be motivated by a chance to eliminate the Dodgers from postseason play as if this rivalry needed any more fuel. Luckily for the Dodgers, they will send their big three out on to the mound. A “big three” has become a basketball term thanks to LeBron James, but that is exactly what the Dodgers have at the top of their rotation.
Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Hyun-Jin Ryu are as a good of a top three in the rotation that there is in the National League. The Brewers lack a true number one starter, the Cubs rotation features former aces who have fallen off their game, and the Rockies have Kyle Freeland and German Marquez, but their rotation falls off after that. The Braves are young team loaded with talent but they also lack a true ace.
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The Dodgers on the other hand, throw out three starting pitchers with ERA’s of 2.00 (Ryu), 2.53 (Kershaw), and 2.76 (Buehler). Not only have Ryu, Kershaw, and Buehler been very good, they have all been at their best in the second half of the season. Here are the second half ERA’s for the Dodgers’ “big three”:
Kershaw: 2.34 ERA
Buehler: 2.21 ERA
Ryu: 1.93 ERA
The Dodgers would have to pitch Rich Hill in the win or go home wildcard game if the Dodgers don’t win the division, but if the Dodgers are able to win that game they will be a team nobody wants to face in the first round of the playoffs with that rotation and lineup full of talented hitters.
To get to the playoffs the Dodgers will rely on the same “big three” in San Francisco to at least clinch the the second wildcard spot. If the Dodgers are able to sweep the Giants then they will have a very good chance to force a NL West tiebreaker game at worst if not win the division outright. If the Dodgers are able to pull off a sweep in San Franciso, the “big three” in their rotation will be a big reason why.