Early Thoughts on a 2022 Playoff Rotation

It’s almost September, as this season went by in a flash. The Dodgers hit their stride after the All-Star game break, establishing themselves as the top team in the majors.

They’ve had a stretch of 50 games in which they went 41-9. It’s pretty ridiculous how this team has spoiled us the past couple of years, and I can see why everyone else is envious.

The division is pretty much wrapped up now, and somehow the Padres got worse after the trade deadline. The Dodgers have done all this by missing big names and getting contributions from a few unlikely players, which makes for an interesting case.

L.A. will be in the playoffs, no doubt, and the NL is much closer than the AL, where the Astros (ugh) are the frontrunners, unless the Yankees get their situation under control.

But come postseason time, one of the big questions is what will the Dodgers’ rotation will look like.

More importantly, in a Game 1 or an elimination game, who do the Dodgers go with?

Game 1 of a series is critical, as it’s always better to start a postseason series with a win. Usually, a team will start their Opening Day starter; the Dodgers can rule that out with Walker Buehler as he’s out for the year.

Generally, if a team had to use their best starters to get to the postseason in a qualifier, they’d be unavailable to begin a series. The Dodgers should be able to wrap up their seeding going into the season’s final games.

Clayton Kershaw has started countless Game 1s for the Dodgers, but his health is a question mark. In my opinion, there’s one guy who should start Game 1 — the same pitcher who recorded the last out of the Dodgers World Series win, that is Julio Urias.

Urias was on the verge of being an All-Star this year. After injury-filled seasons at the beginning of his career, he’s been one of the most consistent pitchers for the Dodgers the last three seasons, whether that is in relief in the postseason or a starter in the regular season.

Urias is 13-7 this season with a 2.36 ERA; he’s also posted a WHIP of 0.96. Some fans suggest starting Tony Gonsolin, who has the National Leagues’ lowest ERA at 2.10. But Gonsolin may have to be used in an elimination game, as I feel he’s better suited there.

However, if the Dodgers decide to start Gonsolin, they can’t go wrong. Even Tyler Anderson should get consideration for the year he’s having. With Andrew Heaney and Dustin May also back healthy, the Dodgers have plenty of options, and they can’t go wrong with whoever they pick.

The way the Dodgers have been playing recently, the postseason can’t come soon enough.

2 thoughts on “Early Thoughts on a 2022 Playoff Rotation

  1. In my opinion, Urias is Game 1 starter, no matter what. He’s earned it and he has a very good post season track record to boot.

    As far as the rest of the starters are concerned, I think it’s too early to make any decisions. The team will have to consider two things:

    1) How have Gonsolin and Anderson held up through the end of the season.
    2) How successfully have Kershaw and May come back from their injuries.

    Once that analysis is complete at the end of the year, the playoff rotation decision will become much more obvious.

  2. Yes Urias without a doubt. And lets wait on decisions for the others. Very interested to see May this afternoon. Anderson and Gonsolin could use a breather as the Dodgers are far ahead. Heaney in his propensity to give up the long ball is worrying as that has been his history and he is fragile. Kershaw is definitely fragile. May is the wild card if he is as devastatingly effective as his OKC and initial game suggests might use him as much as possible. Time will tell.

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