It’s still early, but the Los Angeles Dodgers don’t look like the Los Angeles Dodgers we expected to see.
The 4-7 Dodgers have had the starting pitching, as their staff has the fifth-best xFIP (a regressed version of Fielding Independent Pitching). The offense, on the other hand, has yet to get going. Los Angeles has struggled to a .285 wOBA (weighted on-base average), which ranks 25th in MLB.
Tonight, the Dodgers welcome former friend Zack Greinke to Chavez Ravine for a divisional showdown. Greinke’s back-of-the-baseball card stats this year may not impress, but he’s had an incredibly unlucky to start the year. However, the 34-year-old has really struggled against the Dodgers in his career.
Something’s gotta give.
We will take an in-depth look at that Dodgers-Diamondbacks game in tonight’s MLB preview. We’ll also dive into an all-Texas matchup between the Astros and Rangers, where Houston will look to continue its recent dominance over Texas. After taking three of four earlier this month, the Astros improved to a staggering 30-12 against their AL West rivals since the start of last season.
Let’s get down to business.
Texas Rangers at Houston Astros (-230) | O/U: 8
Cole Hamels (1-2, 5.06 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (1-0, 0.64 ERA)
8:10 p.m. ET
Hamels, Cole: Look at that, one guy’s first name is the other guy’s last name. Neato. One looks like a pitcher at the end of his career, while the other looks totally reborn.
Hamels had perhaps the worst season in of his long career in 2017. And 2018 hasn’t started off much better, as he boasts a 5.06 ERA through three starts. I will note he’s arrived there in an odd fashion. Not known as a huge strikeout guy (he’s never reached 10 K/9 in a season), Hamels has an impressive 23 strikeouts in 16 innings. While that’s a positive sign, he’s also walked too many batters and allowed five home runs. He’s getting hit hard (his 46.2% hard-hit percentage ranks third out of 88 starters), but he’s getting tons of Ks (tied for fifth with 12.94 K/9). These are strange splits. You can expect to see his 38.5% HR/FB (home run to fly ball) rate drop over time, but I’m interested to see if he can sustain his strikeout rate.