Dodgers @ Tigers August 20, 2017: Maeda for the sweep

The Dodgers (87-34) haven’t lost a series in ten weeks. They’ve swept 12 series during that span, and have a shot at yet another today. All that stands between them and that (as well as their seventh win in a row) is the Tigers (53-69) and a one-time truly great ace.

Dodgers
Tigers
10:10 a.m. Pacific
Detroit
LF
Granderson
2B
Kinsler
SS
Seager
RF
 Presley
3B
Turner
LF
Upton
1B
González
1B
 Cabrera
RF
Puig
CF
Mahtook
DH
Utley
DH
Martínez
2B
Forsythe C Hicks
C
Barnes
3B
Romine
CF
Hernández
SS
Machado
P
Maeda (R)
P
Verlander (R)

Kenta Maeda (3.76 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 4.06 DRA) will face the Tigers for the first time in his career. It’s been six starts since Maeda has allowed more than three runs. In those games, Maeda has allowed a 1.95 ERA across 32.1 IP, striking out 32 batters versus eight walks. He’s making a real good case to keep that rotation spot once everyone is back and healthy.

Justin Verlander (4.11 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 3.75 DRA) was, for a stretch, one of the best (if not the best) pitcher in baseball. He arguably should’ve won the AL Cy Young Award last season. This year’s Verlander isn’t pitching at that same level, but he’s having an okay year (107 ERA+), and still has the potential to be a formidable opponent. This will be just the second time in his career that Verlander has pitched against the Dodgers. In 2014, he allowed five runs in six innings at Comerica Park, all scored in the first inning. Dodger pitching then proceeded to give up 14 unanswered runs.

After mildly spraining his ankle in yesterday’s game, Cody Bellinger is out of the lineup (and likely will be for a couple of days), which is definitely for the best, although he’s still listed as available. Newest Dodger Curtis Granderson will lead off, and he’ll be in left field, with Enrique Hernández manning center. Chris Taylor gets the rare day off.

——

What’s next for Clayton Kershaw? Well:

A less-positive update on Grant Dayton:

Finally, the great Eric Stephen provided us with these truly wonderful notes:

Make it happen, boys.

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, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. 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.