After a slow and late start to his regular season, Walker Buehler is making a strong case to be one of the Dodgers’ all-stars.
Cody Bellinger and Hyun-Jin Ryu are both locks to make the National League All-Star team this season. Outside of those two, the Dodgers have three other potential candidates in Walker Buehler, Max Muncy, and Joc Pederson. For Walker Buehler, his case is becoming stronger by the start.
Last night against the Chicago Cubs, a team many consider to be the NL’s second-best team, Buehler had a no-hitter through five innings and ended up allowing no runs and just two hits over seven shutout innings. In June, Walker has a 0.41 ERA in three starts this month. His ERA has gone down each month and he found his groove in May, finishing with a 2.90 ERA.
After experiencing a dead arm period this spring, the Dodgers shut down Buehler for a few months before putting him through a very short and rushed spring training. He made just one spring training start on March 19th and did not finish three innings. He was then put in the rotation after Rich Hill went down with a knee injury.
If Hill did not get injured, the Dodgers would have slow played Buehler and let him make a few minor league starts to build up his pitch count. Since they didn’t have that option with Kershaw and Hill sidelined, he started the regular season after one spring start and struggled in April pitching to a 4.10 ERA but picked up three wins thanks to stellar run support.
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So how does Walker Buehler stack up to the rest of the starting pitchers in the National League? He currently ranks third in wins with seven, third in WHIP (0.92), and ninth in ERA (3.06). He is slightly ahead of Clayton Kershaw in ERA and wins so if the choice comes down to the two, Walker Buehler should get the All-Star nod.
If Walker does not make the All-Star team initially, there is a good chance he gets added by NL Manager Dave Roberts as some pitchers will be ineligible to pitch in the midsummer classic. One of those starters is Hyun-Jin Ryu who is scheduled to pitch the Sunday right before the All-Star break. Unless the Dodgers skip Ryu’s start, he will not be pitching in the All-Star game and the team is unlikely to do so.
Taking Ryu off the NL roster would mean one less Dodger on the team, and make a better case for Walker Buehler to get added since there might only be one other Dodger on the team in Cody Bellinger. Walker Buehler is getting better and better as the season progresses, and he is certainly deserving of an All-Star team selection.