Royals @ Dodgers July 9, 2017: Kershaw for the half-ending sweep

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (60-29) have the chance to head into the All-Star Break on some very good notes. A win today against the Royals (44-42) would make two series sweeps in a row for the Dodgers, and six straight wins. A win today would guarantee the Dodgers keep their hold on the best record in baseball. And they’re sending their best to the mound to try to get the job done.

Royals
Dodgers
1:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
2B
Merrifield
2B
Forsythe
3B
Torres
LF
Taylor
CF
Cain
3B
Turner
1B
Hosmer
1B
Bellinger
RF
Bonifacio
C
Barnes
SS
Escobar
SS
Hernández
LF
Soler RF Puig
C
Butera
CF
Thompson
P
Duffy (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

Clayton Kershaw (2.19 ERA, 3.11 FIP, 2.56 DRA) has gone 20 innings and three starts without allowing an earned run, and he’s once again looking like the Kershaw we expect to see. This will be just his second time facing the Royals in his career, and his first time since 2014, when he pitched eight scoreless innings in Kansas City.

Danny Duffy (3.51 ERA, 3.54 FIP, 4.74 DRA) is having a fairly solid season, although he missed over a month of action due to a strained right oblique. The 28-year-old southpaw hasn’t been getting a ton of strikeouts, but he’s been doing a good job inducing groundballs and weak contact, as well as avoiding home runs thus far (though he’s due for regression there). Duffy throws a five-pitch mix featuring a fastball that’s lost a few ticks of velocity from years past (now averages 93 MPH), a slider, a changeup, a sinker, and the rare curveball.

Duffy has faced the Dodgers just once before — the game Kershaw also started in 2014. Duffy allowed just one run in six innings, but was outdueled, and came out on the wrong side of things. So, this is a rematch three years in the making.

Cody Bellinger is the sole lefty (besides Kershaw) in the starting lineup today. Corey Seager gets the day off, as does, unsurprisingly, Joc PedersonYasmani Grandal is also out as he deals with a swollen finger, but he’s available if needed.

——

We now know for sure that we won’t be seeing Kershaw until the series in Chicago:

We don’t yet know who will be starting in Miami, though.

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times and FanGraphs. She recently earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.