Padres @ Dodgers May 15, 2019: Maeda for the sweep

The first place Dodgers (28-16) go for the two-game sweep of the Padres (22-20) on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium as they wrap up the homestand. The Boys in Blue have the best home record in baseball (18-6), and they’re 12-5 vs. NL West opponents.

Padres
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
2B
Garcia
2B
Hernandez
RF
Reyes
3B
Turner
SS
Machado
RF
Bellinger
1B
Hosmer
1B
Freese
LF
Renfroe
SS
Seager
C
Allen
LF
Taylor
3B
France CF Verdugo
P
Strahm (L)
C
Martin
CF
Margot
P
Maeda (R)

Kenta Maeda (4-2, 4.03 ERA, 4.41 FIP) takes the place of Rich Hill for the Wednesday home game vs. San Diego. Hill is pushed back to the weekend series against the Reds in Cincinnati. Maeda looks to build off his last gem of a start when he one-hit the Nationals over six scoreless innings on Cinco de Mayo. His previous start, before the dominant outing against the Nats, wasn’t as successful. Maeda allowed four runs, including a home run to Franmil Reyes, in the loss to the Friars at Petco Park.

Moving Maeda up to pitch at home makes sense considering his home/road splits are quite divergent. He’s 3-0 at Dodger Stadium this season with a 1.86 ERA and a 0.879 WHIP in three starts (19.1 innings). On the road, he’s 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA and 1.618 WHIP in five starts (25.1 innings).

Overall against the Padres, the right-hander is 5-3 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.117 WHIP in 14 career games (12 starts). Maeda’s struck out 82 Padres batters in 65.1 innings (11.3 K/9). This season his strikeout rate is down (21.5%), but his soft contact rate is up (27.8%). He’s utilizing his changeup (24.4%) and slider (27.8%) more.

Tuesday’s home opener turned into a duel of the dongs instead of the pitcher’s duel the match-up between Clayton Kershaw and rookie sensation Chris Paddack was billed as. Maeda will look to keep the ball in the park in the series finale. Eric Hosmer, Manuel Margot, Manny Machado and Reyes have all taken him yard in the past.

Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.00 ERA, 3.31 FIP) heads to the mound for his eighth start of the season for the Padres. After a rough season debut on April 1, when he served up five runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings against the D-backs, Strahm settled into his starting role well and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in his last six starts. Last time out vs. the Mets, he allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in 6.1 innings, but he wasn’t involved in the decision.

The southpaw’s throwing his slider 20% more often than last season, accommodating for the decrease in his fastball velocity. He also has a plus curveball.

Strahm has only made one previous start against the Dodgers, a brief two-innings last May at Dodger Stadium in a bullpen game for San Diego. Max Muncy homered against him last August, a relief appearance for the lefty.

Left-handed batters are slashing .342/.405/.474/.878 vs. the southpaw, but he’s not surrendered a homer to a lefty yet this season. The Dodgers’ bats will try to change that. They have hit 21 home runs vs. LHP so far this year.

Strahm is also a decent hitter. He has three hits including two doubles in 12 at-bats this season. Andy Green has him batting eighth in his lineup.

It’s Muncy’s bobblehead night, but he’s not starting. Enrique Hernandez bats leadoff, starting at second base. David Freese gets the start at first base, batting cleanup. Russell Martin will be behind the plate.

——

Get fired up like the birthday boy Dugie and get a win, boys!

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.