It is not an easy task to suppress the league’s most volatile offense, yet San Diego Padres Eric Lauer just may be the Los Angeles Dodgers kryptonite thus far. While the Padres and Dodgers are on rather opposite ends when it comes to playoff contention, it is noteworthy to examine Lauer’s performances and how they may set up future matchups between the two teams when the Padres are expected to seriously contend for the NL West in the next few years.
The second year left hander always seems to come up with the right pitches at the right time against the Dodgers, which features plenty of offensive depth from both the left and right handed batters box. In a lineup that features Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and rookie phenoms such as catcher Will Smith, there is no such thing as a weak spot. Lauer has posted a 4.48 ERA and a 7-8 record in 2019, but is now 2-0 against the Dodgers in 4 games. His ERA against the Dodgers sits at 3.13, where he has pitched 23 innings, and has surrendered 17 hits, 7 walks, and 8 earned runs for a 1.41 WHIP. However, including the three games he pitched against the Dodgers in 2018, his overall record is 5-0, and holds a 2.11 ERA over 42.2 IP, and only 10 Earned Runs.
Lauer features a sneaky fastball that he frequently adds and subtracts velocity on, keeping hitters off balance. It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers can eventually figure him out, and perhaps how the matchup will fare in what many expect to be future playoff races.