White Sox @ Dodgers August 15, 2017: Wood for 50 home wins

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers (83-34) wrap up their brief homestand and go for their 50th home win of the season when they open a two-game interleague series against the Chicago White Sox (45-70) Tuesday night. The best team in baseball hasn’t slowed down their winning pace. They have 12 more wins than the Houston Astros (72-46) and the best record in MLB.

It won’t be easy for the White Sox in this series. They are mired in last place in the American League Central and won just 2 of their last 14 road games and eight of their last 33 games overall. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have a nine-game winning streak against AL teams this season coming into Tuesday’s opener.

White Sox
Dodgers
7:10 PM PT
Los Angeles
SS
Anderson
LF
Taylor
3B
Saladino
SS
Seager
1B
Abreau
3B
Turner
RF
 A. Garcia
1B
 Bellinger
C
 Smith
C
Grandal
LF
 L. Garcia
RF
Puig
2B
Moncada 2B Forsythe
CF
Engel
CF
Pederson
P
Gonzalez (R)
P
Wood (L)

Alex Wood (14-1, 2.37 ERA, 2.66 FIP) goes for his 15th victory on the season when he takes the mound. Wood, a mainstay in the Dodgers’ rotation this year, has never faced the White Sox before. Despite battling some arm fatigue, Wood has been dominant this season. He’s only allowed six home runs in 105 innings (0.49 HR/9) and is striking out 26.4% of batters while walking only 6.8%.

Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.85 ERA, 5.10 FIP) narrowly lost to the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw in a 1-0 game back on July 18 in Chicago, his only career start against L.A. The 33-year old right-hander from the San Fernando Valley went six innings, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and five walks. Perhaps the Dodgers can convert more of those base runners they were able to get off Gonzalez last time they faced him to runs this time around at Dodger Stadium. Gonzalez did pitch eight innings of one-run ball against the Astros in his last start.

——

Yasiel Puig has moved up in the lineup alert. The Gold Glove worthy right fielder is up two slots in Dave Roberts‘ lineup, batting sixth. It’ll be his seventh start in the six spot this season. Puig’s hitting .278/.362/.46 in 56 games out of the eight spot this year. Even though it’s a small sample size, Puig has hit well out of the sixth hole (.333/.400/.333) in his limited time penciled in there. There’s no reason to think Puig won’t continue to excel out of the eighth spot, but his time there worked out well. It enabled him to improve his plate discipline and mature as a hitter.

The Dodgers also made a trade today. They sent reliever Chris Hatcher to the Oakland A’s in exchange for international amateur signing bonus pool space.

Hatcher last pitched for the Dodgers on June 22 before missing time due to a thoracic inflammation. The right-handed reliever appeared in 49 games, going 8-10 with a 4.64 ERA in 116 1/3 innings since being acquired from the Marlins in 2015. Although Hatcher was always considered to have great peripheral numbers, he never quite played to expectations as a setup man behind Kenley Jansen in the late innings for the Dodgers.

Let’s #NeverForget Hatcher’s biggest win during his tenure with the Dodgers.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.