D’Backs @ Dodgers August 9, 2019: Ray vs Buehler to open the weekend series

The Dodgers had an off day yesterday following their 10th walkoff win of the season on Wednesday. After a ping pong-filled day, the Dodgers return to the field tonight to welcome the second-place Diamondbacks back to LA.

The Dodgers have won eight of the 12 games against Arizona this season, outscoring them 76-52. They’ve won five of the six games in Los Angeles, and this weekends’ series marks the final time Arizona will play in LA in 2019 (barring a playoff run). Arizona is in second in the NL West, 18 games behind the Dodgers. They sold at the trade deadline and got a pretty nice haul back for Zack Greinke (sources say Alex, like the Diamondbacks will also be acquiring Beer this weekend).

Diamondbacks
Dodgers
7:10 P.M.
Los Angeles
RF
Dyson
CF
Pollock
CF
Marte
3B
Turner
2B
Escobar
C
Smith
LF
Peralta
RF
Bellinger
1B
Walker
LF
Negrón
3B
Lamb
2B
Muncy
SS
Ahmed SS Seager
C
Kelly
1B
White
P
Ray (L)
P
Buehler (R)

Walker Buehler starts tonight, coming off arguably the most dominant start of his career. Last time out against the Padres, Buehler struck out 15 and allowed only one run, a solo pinch-hit homer by Manuel Margot. It was Buehler’s second complete game of the season, which is the most in the NL and tied for the second-most in the majors this season. Buehler’s early season struggles (due to not having a spring training) seem to be in the past, as since May 6 Buehler owns a 2.65 ERA and 128 strikeouts against 11 walks in 102 innings. Not bad.

This will be Buehler’s fourth start against the Diamondbacks this season. In his very first game of the season, Buehler only lasted three innings against Arizona, allowing five runs on five hits in a game the Dodgers ended up winning. The other two went much better, as Buehler combined to allow four runs in 15 innings and struck out 20 without walking a batter.

The Dodgers face off against an old foe in Robbie Ray. Ray is still a Diamondback after the trade deadline despite a ton of interest, most notably from the Yankees. Ray is far removed from his all-star 2017 season, as he currently holds a 4.03 ERA/4.16 FIP in 134 innings in 2019. Ray has turned into a strikeout machine as his 31.2 percent strikeout rate is his lowest in the last three seasons (still seventh-best in the majors). However, his 10.2 percent walk rate is the sixth highest in the majors as well.

Ray has seen the Dodgers three times this season and has allowed three earned runs and struck out nine batters each time. The first time, those three runs came in five innings in LA in a game the Diamondbacks ended up winning. The second time Ray lasted seven innings, but the Dodgers ended up winning. Last time out, Ray lasted 6 1/3 innings in another Dodger victory, as Arizona only scored three runs in the two losses.

Ray is a lefty, so the Dodgers are rolling out a slightly-more-righthanded lineup than usual. A.J. Pollock returns and starts in center and Kristopher Negron starts in left field. Negron, hilariously, has a hit in all seven games as a Dodger after recording a hit in four of his 10 games with the Mariners this season.

——

A Ross Stripling update.

Stripling is still dealing with a sore neck, so he won’t be back in action at any level for about a week. He could be another weapon to add to the bullpen later in the year and in the postseason, a subject Dustin wrote about earlier today.

——

The Dodgers added another catcher to their minor league depth earlier today.

Jose Lobaton is now in the Dodgers organization, after they acquired him from Seattle. Lobaton has played in parts of nine major league seasons, but wasn’t on the 40-man roster, which meant he could still be dealt after the trade deadline. He’s likely a replacement for Keibert Ruiz, who could miss the rest of the minor league season with a broken finger.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.