Chris Archer will take the mound for the Rays on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, opposing Dodgers right-hander Bud Norris in a 10:10 PM EDT start. It’s convenient that what could be Archer’s final start could be right in front of the team with which he eventually lands.
A rival executive told ESPN’s Jayson Stark last week that he believes there’s a “70 percent” chance Archer winds up with the Dodgers. It makes sense, as Archer is arguably the best pitcher — current won-lost record and ERA aside — available heading into the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. The Dodgers need an impact pitcher if the club is to keep pace in the NL West and the NL Wild Card races. Entering Tuesday’s action, the Dodgers are 56-44, 2.5 games behind the first-place Giants and holding the first of two Wild Card slots.
The Dodgers, notably, are without Clayton Kershaw, who is dealing with mild disk herniation in his lower back and may require surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu landed on the disabled list earlier this month after making his only start of the season. Alex Wood underwent an elbow procedure recently and may rejoin the team in mid- to late-September.
Archer is 5-13, with the 13 losses leading all major league starters. He also has an uninspiring 4.60 ERA, but his total of 147 strikeouts is best in the American League. ERA retrodictors like FIP, xFIP, and SIERA believe Archer is anywhere from much better to significantly better than his ERA indicates.
Not that the Dodgers are pinching pennies, but Archer is also relatively affordable through as late as 2021. He’s earning $2.75 million this season, $4.75 in 2017, 6.25 million in ’18, and $7.5 million in ’19. He also has a $9 million club option for 2020 with a $1.75 million buyout and an $11 million club option for ’21 with a $250,000 buyout.
The rest of Tuesday’s action…
St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard), 4:05 PM EDT [Game One]
St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia) @ New York Mets (Bartolo Colon), TBD [Game Two]
Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT
Seattle Mariners (Felix Hernandez) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano), 7:05 PM EDT
San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman), 7:07 PM EDT
Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @ Chicago White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 PM EDT
Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey) @ Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright), 7:10 PM EDT
Philadelphia Phillies (Jerad Eickhoff) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT
Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez) @ Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar), 7:10 PM EDT
Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray) @ Texas Rangers (Nick Martinez), 8:05 PM EDT
Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza), 8:10 PM EDT
Atlanta Braves (Lucas Harrell) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT
New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT
Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 8:15 PM EDT
Cincinnati Reds (Cody Reed) @ San Francisco Giants (Matt Cain), 10:15 PM EDT