MLB Playoff Race: Kershaw, Strasburg leave starts with injuries

Nationals’ SP Stephen Strasburg and Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw left their respective starts early.

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Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports – ForTheWin

Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw is DL bound after he felt lower back tightness during his start against the Atlanta Braves; while Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was lifted after the second due to an “abundance of caution“.

The big story here is going to be the DL stint for Kershaw, and what that means for the first place Dodgers; as the 29-year old was pulled for tightness in his lower back after two innings. Even though they have a 10 game lead in their division, and nearly 100% odds of winning the West, LA can’t afford having him miss a bunch of starts due to the injury. If the LA’s ace does miss a bunch of time due to the injury, the bullpen will become more taxed than it already is…and that’s not good for a team that’s looking to make a deep run into the playoffs.

As for Strasburg, he was pulled because his forearm felt tight and the Nationals aren’t going to take too many risk with their ace. The 29-year old thinks that his forearm felt tight because his normal behavior pattern in-between starts was interrupted due to the All Star Break.

The decision to pull Strasburg out of the game to prevent this tightness from potentially turning into something more serious was smart, because if it did turn into something more serious…that could become an issue for the Nats hopes for making a deep playoff run.

DIVISION LEADERS

(DIVISION) 

LEADERS

WINS-LOSSES PROJECTED

W-L

DIVISION

ODDS

WILDCARD

ODDS

PLAYOFF 

ODDS

(AL East)

Red Sox

 55-45  90-72  76.3%  17.8%  94.2%
(AL Central)

Indians

 51-45  91-71  90.8%  5.8% 96.6%
(AL West)

Astros

 65-33  102-60  100%  0% 100%
(NL East)

Nationals

 59-38  96-66  99.5$  0.1% 99.6%
(NL Central)

Cubs

 51-46  90-72  86.6%  4.5%  91.1%
(NL West)

Dodgers

 68-31  107-55  99.8%  0.2% 100%

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILDCARD

TEAMS  GAMES 

BACK

WINS-LOSSES PROJECTED 

W-L

WILDCARD

ODDS

DIVISION

ODDS

Yankees – X 1 51-46 84-78 41.3% 16.9%
Royals – X 0 50-47 82-80 27.5% 6.7%
Rays – X 0 51-48 81-81 21.3% 4.7%
Twins -1 49-48 79-83 1.6% 11.7%
Mariners -2.5 49-51 79-83 0% 15.3%
Angels -2.5 49-51 80-82 0% 16.8%
Rangers -2.5 48-50 80-82 0% 20.7%

X-Currently holds a wildcard spot

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILDCARD

TEAMS  GAMES 

BACK 

WINS-LOSSES PROJECTED

 W-L

WILDCARD

ODDS

DIVISION

ODDS

Rockies – X 1 58-42 87-75 75.3% 0.1%
Diamondbacks – X 0 56-42 89-73 84.4% 0.1%
Brewers -4.5 53-48 80-82 6.1% 3.3%
Pirates -7.5 49-50 81-81 7.8% 4.1%
Braves -8.5 47-50 77-85 2% 0.1%
Cardinals -9 47-51 81-81 10.8% 5.7%
Mets -10 45-51 80-82 7.1% 0.3%

X-Currently holds a wildcard spot

Playoff odds are courtesy of Fangraphs as of 7/24/2017.

  1. Great post!! Do you think the current standings will hold? Especially after these key injuries, granted hopefully not that severe

    1. It’s hard to see the Dodgers coughing up their lead in their division, same with the Nats.

      The problem is going to be depth in the playoffs.

    2. And thanks for the kind words!

  2. […] it might happen: With Clayton Kershaw being expected to miss 4-6 weeks with lower back tightness, the Dodgers are suddenly on the market to improve their starting […]

  3. You do realize the Nats “ace” is Max Scherzer…

    1. I get that, yes

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