The Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation, yet again, is among the deepest in baseball and will be one of the most interesting aspects of the team.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won seven consecutive National League West titles because of the foundation that the franchise has built around the starting pitcher. With so many different faces passing in and out of Los Angeles in those seven years, there has always been one constant: great starting pitching.
The same could be said this season as the Dodgers legitimately have nine arms that could contribute to the starting rotation and would be starters on most other teams.
Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, Alex Wood, Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Ross Stripling and Jimmy Nelson make up those nine. The team’s 6-9 pitchers would make up a starting rotation better than a third of the league.
Everyone is focused on the stellar offense that has now added Mookie Betts, we wanted to shift gears and look at the guys that are throwing the ball. Here are our five bold predictions for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation in 2020.
1. Alex Wood has a better 2020 than Hyun-Jin Ryu
Perhaps the “boldest” of the predictions is that reunited Dodger, Alex Wood, is going to have a better season than the southpaw who finished second in the National League in Cy Young voting and led all of baseball in ERA.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has been fantastic the last two seasons and he arguably deserved the Cy Young Award last season, which instead went to Jacob deGrom. Despite this, the Dodgers seemingly were not willing to match the $80 million that Ryu signed for with the Toronto Blue Jays, and rightfully so.
As good as Ryu was last season he is still turning 33 in March and has troubled injury history. That could lead to the last two years of his contract being bad for the Blue Jays.
In fact, I think we start to see the downfall of Ryu this season. Ryu and Wood are very similar in the fact that they succeed in missing barrels and are not overly impressive when it comes to spin rate on their pitches.
Ryu benefitted from playing in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium last season with a good defense behind him. Now, he has to play indoors against some juggernaut offenses in the American League East, which will hurt his ERA.
Wood won’t be as good as he was in his all-star season in 2017, but he will be much better than last year. It will mostly be a regression from Ryu, who will finish the season with a 3.80-3.90 ERA while Wood is in the 3.60-3.70 range.