The Los Angeles Dodgers have started to turn things around, but are still trailing the San Francisco Giants in the standings. One of the reasons the Dodgers have struggled this season is their bullpen, which has been overworked this season. The Dodgers still have favorable online MLB sports betting odds of making the playoffs because they are in the first Wild Card position in the National League.
In the past week, the Dodgers used their bullpen in over 25 percent of the innings they played, which isn’t sustainable for the rest of the season. Last Week, Pedro Baez threw a combined 46 pitches on Thursday and Friday, after throwing 30 pitches on Tuesday.
Having thrown 76 pitches in three outings, Baez wasn’t able to pitch again until Sunday. Having a well-rested bullpen is important, especially for a team like the Dodgers, who have pitchers that go an average of five innings per outing.
If the bullpen has to throw as much as Baez threw last week on a regular basis, they won’t be very effective as the season goes on because their arms will be tired by the time the playoffs begin.
The Dodgers will also need a well-rested bullpen to help with pitchers like Mike Bolsinger, who hasn’t been effective this year, and has a 5.76 ERA, and hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any game this year.
The Dodgers have some reason for optimism because they will be getting Frankie Montas back from surgery. Montas has a 2.25 ERA in 16 minor league innings, with 22 strikeouts and 3 walks. Once his rehab stint is done, he should be placed in the Dodgers’ bullpen. Jharel Cotton, a minor league prospect, is also expected to be called up if the team needs more depth in the bullpen. If Montas and Cotton can continue pitching as well as they have in the minors, they should be able to provide the Dodgers’ bullpen with a much needed boost.
The Dodgers also got some good news this week because outfielder Yasiel Puig is expected to be making his return to the Dodger lineup on Tuesday evening. Puig was expected to make his return on Monday but was held back an extra day.
Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy have also been doing well in their rehab stints with Rancho Cucamonga and Oklahoma City. Both have started at least two games, Ryu has pitched up to four innings while McCarthy has pitched up to five. Both pitchers will be given an extra day of rest this week, but Ryu is scheduled to have two more rehab starts before returning to the Dodgers while McCarthy is scheduled to have three more starts.
Once the Dodgers have a healthy and well rested bullpen, they should be better able to challenge the Giants for the NL West crown.