Diamondbacks @ Dodgers April 13, 2018: Dodgers try to change their luck behind Maeda

Throwback lineup from 2011. (Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

It’s fitting that the three-game series opener between the Dodgers (4-7) and D-backs (9-3) opens on Friday the 13th, because it’s been a horror show a majority of the time for the Dodgers so far this season. Kenta Maeda (1-0, 0.00 ERA, -0.45 FIP) looks to right the ship at home, but old friend Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.06 ERA, 2.86 FIP) will be doing his best to derail the Dodgers and help capture Arizona’s 10th victory of the year.

D-backs
Dodgers
7:10 PM
Los Angeles
LF
Peralta
CF
Taylor
 2B
Marte
SS
Seager
 1B
Goldschmidt
LF
Kemp
3B
Descalso
1B
Bellinger
 RF
Owings
C
Grandal
CF
Dyson
RF
Puig
 SS
 Ahmed 3B Forsythe
C
Mathis
2B
Hernandez
P
Greinke (R)
P
Maeda (R)

The D-backs and Dodgers have fared similarly in terms of offense this year. The D-backs have a slightly better line of .234/.326/.397/.723 compared to the Dodgers’ .233/.293/.348/.641 through the first 12 games for Arizona and 11 games for LA. The Chase Field humidor has slowed the home runs a bit for Arizona. The Snakes have hit 10 home runs, and the Dodgers have slugged nine. The Rockies — to nobody’s surprise — and the Cardinals are leading the league with 19 homers each.

The D-backs have had excellent pitching so far this year, and have been second only to the New York Mets in ERA (2.72), second behind the Nationals in strikeouts (126), and hold the top WHIP in the NL (1.09). They have been good on the road (4-2, 2.58 ERA), with opposing batters hitting .197 against them. Their bullpen (3-2, 1.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP) has been lights out.

Maeda, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday, is back on the starting bump after being shifted to the Dodgers’ bullpen last weekend. He has yet to allow a run, and he’s struck out 12 while walking one in six innings and two games. This will be his first start since March 31 when he tossed five innings of shutout ball against the Giants, striking out 10. He pitched only one inning since — an inning of relief on April 7 — also against the Giants. With the rainout and the extra off-days early on, Maeda is the one getting the short end of the deal considering most of the money he will make is based on innings pitched and games started due to his incentive-laden contract.

Overall in his career, Maeda is 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA against the D-backs in 11 starts. The nine home runs he’s surrendered to Arizona are the most he’s allowed against any team he’s faced. Ketel Marte has owned Maeda with five hits in six at-bats. Paul Goldschmidt is only hitting .231 against the right-hander, and has never hit a home run off him.

Last time out, old friend Zack Greinke allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings against the Cardinals and picked up his first loss of the year. In all fairness, the temperature in St. Louis at first pitch was a chilly 37°F, the coldest ever recorded for a major-league game in Busch Stadium’s history.

It will be a bit warmer at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, and Greinke has had a lot of success pitching at Chavez Ravine. He’s 29-7 with a 2.27 ERA in 50 career games at Dodger Stadium. Overall, against the Dodgers, he’s 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 starts. Corey Seager is 6-for-12 (.500) with two home runs against Greinke.

——

The Snakes swept the Dodgers in Arizona last week, so here’s to some reversal of luck on Friday the 13th and also some hope that the bats don’t have paraskevidekatriaphobia. Yasiel Puig has had the worst luck so far this year, and that catch by Trayce Thompson won’t soon be forgotten. Something’s got to give, and it would be extra satisfying if it were against Greinke.

Reminder that the game will also be simulcast on KTLA.

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 and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. 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.