The trade deadline has come and passed, coming at the end of August this year due to the shortened 60-game season. The Dodgers, who usually are big noisemakers at the deadline, didn’t make any big splashes. The only move done was trading away Ross Stripling to the Toronto Blue Jays for two players to be named later who are not in the 60-man player pool. The deal was announced nearly after the trade deadline concluded.
Stripling struggled this season with an ERA of 5.61. He did get a good amount of run support posting a 3-1 record. However he has shown flashes of great ability, as he was named an All-Star in 2017 and can be a good piece for the Blue Jays.
The move opens a rotation spot for Tony Gonsolin who didn’t allow a run until his third outing of the season against the Texas Rangers. Alex Wood, who is still on the injured list, also continues to rehab for a return. Wood could be used as a bullpen arm if no rotation spot is available.
Lance Lynn was heavily linked to the Dodgers as the deadline dwindled; however, they felt like the asking price was too high. National League West foes were the biggest movers at the trade deadline, as the Padres made a number of moves by adding Mike Clevinger, Mitch Moreland, and Austin Nola.
As it stands, the Dodgers have posted the best record in baseball at 26-10. Many fans felt there was a need for another starting pitcher, especially in the playoffs. After Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, Lynn would have made sense. However, the Dodgers still look to be in a good position. Dustin May can slide in that third spot or even Gonsolin. Julio Urias at this point looks more like a bullpen option, as he’s struggled going deep into his outings.
Kershaw has enjoyed a rejuvenated season, and while Buehler has struggled a bit, he began to settle down before his blister injury. The third spot looks to be May’s at the moment.
The newly added round to the postseason could put more of an emphasis on starting pitching. A three-game series is something new that can go either way. If the Dodgers continue with the best record in the National League they will face the 8th seed. One example is the Cincinnati Reds, who could trot out Trevor Bauer, Sonny Gray, and Luis Castillo in a short series.
The Dodgers will now face the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks, who were sellers at the deadline unloading Starling Marte and Archie Bradley. Arizona is 11.5 games back from the Dodgers. In a four-game series previously this year the Dodgers took three games. The two teams will face each other six times in the next two weeks.
The difference between the two teams is apparent, as the Dodgers run differential is +90 and the Diamondbacks are -30. In the last ten games, the Dodgers are 8-2 and the Diamondbacks are 1-9.
Urias will start the opening game followed by Kershaw. A starter for the third game hasn’t been announced.
This will be the sixth start of the year for Urias. Hopefully, he can limit the traffic on the bases and pitch a bit deeper into games. His ERA is at 3.67 in 27 innings pitched, and his WHIP stands at 1.41.
The probable opposing pitcher for the opener is left-hander Alex Young. The first pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Pacific time.