2023 NLDS: Lance Lynn Could Factor Into Game 3, But Dodgers Undecided On Role

As the Los Angeles Dodgers prepared for the start of their postseason matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series, they outlined a plan to mix and match with their pitching staff much more than in years past.

Clayton Kershaw started Game 1 on Saturday, with rookie Bobby Miller lined up to start Game 2. With that much set in stone, Game 3 is the question mark, and it’s where Lance Lynn could have a decent impact if his number is called.

There haven’t been any concrete decisions for when the NLDS shifts to Chase Field, and although Lynn is an option, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained there isn’t anything in place for the 36-year-old.

“Not yet. He’ll be ready,” Roberts said. “I talked to him before about whatever is asked of him, needed of him. He’s throwing [Thursday] and he’s going to go four innings, so certainly that puts him out of Games 1 and 2. So I think if you look at his role, I think Game 3 certainly is in play.”

Lynn being open to some flexibility is important because of how up-and-down he’s performed of late. But when the Dodgers have needed a starter to go deep into a game to save the bullpen, he’s answered the bell.

Aside from a 5.73 ERA on the season, Lynn has posted a 3.38 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and .205 batting average allowed over his last four starts. His 5.34 FIP and 11% walk rate in those outings leave a lot to be desired, but the right-hander is able to pitch his way out of trouble more times than not.

Since September 12, Lynn has allowed a 56.7% fly ball rate, which is nearly 20% above league average. Whether Lynn is given an opportunity to start in the NLDS, or utilized as a bulk reliever, he’ll have to find a way to keep the ball in the park.

Where does Lance Lynn best fit on Dodgers postseason roster?

Lynn’s pitch mix is fastball-heavy that features a four-seam and cutter to go along with a sinker. He seldomly uses offspeed pitches, throwing a curveball, changeup and slider less than 10% of the time.

But unfortunately for Lynn, a lot of his stuff has regressed since being traded to the Dodgers. Hard-hit rates have all increased, which gives pause when considering Lynn for spot in playoff rotation.

Lynn does have value, though, and if the Dodgers find themselves in a scenario that they’re up 2-0 in the NLDS, then his ability to pitch bulk innings becomes a great weapon for Roberts and his staff.

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