The Los Angeles Dodgers’ magic number is down to five games after a 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks last night. With the Diamondbacks in total collapse mode, the Dodgers were handed a win on a silver platter last night. It just felt like yesterday that the Diamondbacks were right there in the NL West. In fact, they were a fancy pick by many people to win the division. At that point, it wasn’t outlandish at all to say they were going to win.
The Dodgers looked like they were in choke mode, presenting an opportunity for the Rockies and D-Backs to make a run at the division. There is still one team that is hanging around, though. While the Dodgers’ magic number is at five, they only have five games left, so if they win out they are in. That means the Rockies are right on their back trying to stage a last minute gasp to the top. The Rox are 1.5 games behind the Dodgers.
That isn’t a comfortable gap for the Dodgers. The Rockies blasted the Phillies by a score of 10-1 yesterday, so they are keeping pace. They will have to keep winning and hope the Dodgers slip-up a couple of times this week. The Rockies also have option B to reach the postseason. With the Cardinals losing to the Brewers on Monday, they are just a half a game behind for the final wildcard.
It’d be a heart breaker if they miss out on the NL West and a wildcard. I certainly wouldn’t want to play this team in the postseason, especially at Coors Field. The Diamondbacks will do their best to help the Rockies out tonight. Matt Koch, who was demoted to the bullpen after several bad outings as a starter will get the call tonight. He’s bounced back and forth between the minors and majors this season. The Dodgers will look at Walker Buehler to get the job on their side. Get our free Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks pick below.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick
Walker Buehler (7-5, 2.74 ERA) vs. Matt Koch (5-5, 4.26 ERA)
Walker Buehler has been a lightning rod for the Dodgers this season. Clayton Kershaw is the leader of the rotation, but it’s hard to ignore what Buehler has been doing in 2018. He made just eight appearances out of the bullpen last season before seeing the starting rotation this year. He didn’t make the most of those outings as a reliever either. Buehler finished with an ERA of 7.71 in 9.1 innings. It wasn’t the best look, but he’s made up for it and then some as a member of the starting rotation.
He’s certainly a welcome weapon that the Dodgers didn’t have during their postseason run a season ago. Buehler goes into Tuesday night with an ERA of 1.80 and 0.75 WHIP in his previous three starts. He was stellar against the Diamondbacks on September 2nd, allowing them to score just 1 run and 2 hits across 6.1 innings of work. In 20 at-bats the Diamondbacks are hitting a whopping .100, giving up only 2 hits to Paul Goldschidmt.
Koch might have to be at his best tonight. Other than a poor performance in Colorado a couple of appearances ago, Koch has looked much better in the bullpen than as a starter. With nothing to lose, the Diamondbacks are going to give him another crack at being a starter, though. He posted a 6.48 ERA in his last three starts before getting sent to the minors and then the bullpen.
Koch gets a Dodgers’ offense that have averaged 7.1 runs per game in their last nine games. Between their last three games, they’ve scored 28 runs. Conversely, the D-Backs have lost eight of their last nine games and have seemed to mentally check out on this season. The Snakes look dead in the water. I’d go with the Dodgers to ride their momentum to another win over the Diamondbacks tonight.