I was short on time for the first two games, but the Asterisk* makes a strong return for Game 3. The consensus the last couple of games was to fade the starting pitchers to fit in some big bats, and that ended up costing us.
This time we have Walker Beuhler (LAD) and Charlie Morton (TB) as our SPs. So come on in, grab a drink (or your preferred social lubricant, and let’s sit down at the table and take an in-depth look at both squads. I’ll put on some Bob Marley to get our heads straight. Here we go!
First, Walker Beuhler has had his struggles this season. He owns a respectable 3.44 ERA, but his 4.36 FIP and his 90 mph exit velocity is a more accurate representation of his abilities. In addition, he has had issues with the long ball. Beuhler is allowing 1.72 HR/9.
However, oddly enough he has had more trouble with righties than lefties. Beuhler has given up 2.04 HR/9 and a 5.44 FIP to RHH.
As for Charlie Morton, his regular season ups and downs haven’t yet shown themselves in the playoffs. Although he has been good this postseason, his regular season stats represent a larger sample size, so let’s look there.
Morton’s .355 BABIP and 3.45 FIP (compared to his 4.74 ERA) shows that he has actually gotten pretty unlucky this season. When we look at his splits, Morton is allowing a .337 wOBA, 1.65 HR/9 and a 35.7 HC rate to lefties. However, his 3-0 record and 0.57 ERA in this year’s playoffs cannot be ignored.
Let’s start with the Rays. Given how Beuhler’s numbers are skewed against righties, Randy Arozarena would be my first choice. He has murdered the ball all season long, including this post season. Manuel Margot and Mike Zunino are also options whose salaries are palatable. Margot has decent power and is a stolen base threat, and Zunino can go deep anytime. Other than those three, I’d consider lefties Brandon Lowe (who has been heating up) and Austin Meadows (who leads off).
As for the Dodgers, I have to be honest and say I am not in live with them. Given Morton’s performance in the postseason, I think this is an instance where a starting pitcher is a quality play, maybe even at CAPT. That’s not to say there are no Dodgers to consider.
Corey Seager has been crazy good, Mookie leads off and is getting hot, and Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy are lefties that are always HR threats, but that is where I would draw the line for LAD in this game.