After splitting a two game series with the Seattle Mariners (11-7), the first place Dodgers (14-4) look to take the opener of a four-game series against the third place San Diego Padres (10-10). The Dodgers managed to win the previous series against the Padres and split the two game series against the Seattle Mariners despite extremely questionable defense and an entirely flat offense.
Walker Buehler will take the mound looking to hold the Padres offense down while the Dodgers try to find their own. The left-handed Ryan Weathers will make his second start of the season as San Diego desperately tries to find a win, dropping five of their last six.
|7:10 p.m.||Los Angeles|
|CF||Grisham (L)||SS||Seager (L)|
|LF||Profar (S)||RF||Raley (L)|
|P||Weathers (R)||P||Buehler (R)|
After their 11-6 win in the series opener against the Padres last week, the Dodgers have slashed an ugly .109/.215/.218 over their last four games, good for a league worst .433 OPS and 31 wRC+. They get a slight benefit of the doubt facing Yu Darvish and Blake Snell in two of those games, but they didn’t look much better in Seattle against weaker pitching. With thirteen hits and eight runs over four games, the team has still managed two wins which they’ll gladly accept with production like that. Even including the last four games, the Dodgers still have one of the best offenses in the game.
This was looking to be a relatively standard starting lineup for the series opener, but the lineup has been changed twice in the last two hours. First, Chris Taylor was scratched with lower back stiffness after initially starting in center field and then Zach McKinstry was scratched for the same reason. Sheldon Neuse will start at second base, Mookie Betts will be in center field and Luke Raley will be in right field. Just how the Dodgers imagined their lineup looking on game nineteen. Maybe this odd lineup will have what it takes to breakout of the recent offensive funk.
Here’s how Buehler and Weathers matchup in their limited outings thus far.
Buehler is making his fourth start of the season and second consecutive against San Diego. He’s coming off a solid outing where he allowed two runs over six innings against a typically strong San Diego offense. He’s still yet to rack up more than four strikeouts in a start or pitch into the seventh inning thus far, so even with solid performances this season he still hasn’t hit his stride. He currently has the worst FIP in the starting rotation at 3.36, which would be just above his career mark of 3.24 and likely a borderline top ten figure over the course of an entire season. Basically he’s been really good, and the rest of the staff has been just as good if not better.
The left-handed Weathers will make his second start of the season, coming off a brief but strong start against the Dodgers last week, where he allowed just one hit and two walks over three and two thirds innings. He also allowed seven balls in play over 91 MPH and three over 100 MPH, with only one falling for a hit. He wasn’t exactly fooling anyone, so Weathers will need to dig deep and look for a way to keep the Dodgers off the board again. Or not, who knows – they’ve looked bad anyways.
Overall, the remainder of the series looks like this.
As Eric wisely pointed out, lower back stiffness is contagious. Watch out.
This is great news because at this pace I’d be starting at second base by next week.
At least it’s not bad news.
Highly recommend checking out this piece by Dylan Hernandez. Darvish is awesome.
First pitch is at 7:10 PM PT on SNLA.