The Dodgers will prepare for their first matchup against the Texas Rangers Friday afternoon. The opening game is played on Jackie Robinson day, which will be celebrated throughout the league. Jackie Robinson Day falls after days of boycotting throughout professional sports leagues due to protests of unarmed Black people being shot by police, including the Dodgers who agreed with the Giants not to play Wednesday night.
Wednesday’s was made up Thursday in a seven-inning doubleheader, in which the Dodgers won both games and did not allow a run. Clayton Kershaw continued the resurgence he’s enjoyed this season, allowing no runs in six innings on just four hits. Kershaw was bailed out a few times by his defense, including spectacular catches in the outfield by Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock. With Kershaw earning the win, he became the winningest left-handed pitcher in team history.
The second game was started by Caleb Ferguson, which proceeded to be a bullpen game. Ferguson only pitched one inning, followed by game-winner Victor Gonzalez who pitched 2.1 innings. After that, a lot of relievers saw action including Brusdar Graterol, Jake McGee, Blake Treinen, Scott Alexander, and Kenley Jansen for the save.
The Dodgers now have a record of 24-9 and stand at 8-2 record in their last ten games. Los Angeles has the best record in baseball, but that might not mean postseason baseball at Dodger Stadium, as the league has talked about having the postseason in a bubble format like the NBA and MLS.
The Dodgers are five games ahead of the second-place Padres, and if the postseason began today the Dodgers would face the Philadelphia Phillies. That series would be a three-game series with the winner advancing to the National League Division Series. The Giants are only a half-game behind the Phillies. While the Giants stand under .500 they have seemed to be one of the teams that have given the Dodgers a tough game. A three-game Dodger-Giant postseason series would be quite interesting as the two teams have never met in the postseason, despite their historic rivalry.
With only days away from the August 31 trade deadline, it is starting to look more likely that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman won’t make any moves. There have been several rumors of the Dodgers pursuing Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, or Lance Lynn. The Reds have been in the playoff running, so it is more than likely Bauer will stay put. The Indians with Clevinger want a high asking price and that might be too much in a shortened season. The Dodgers have done really well up to this point, but it would not hurt to get another starting pitcher amid the recent struggles of Julio Urias and Ross Stripling, especially in the postseason.
The road trip will continue with a three-game series in Texas against the Rangers. The Dodgers stand at 8-1 against American League teams this year, the only loss being against the Seattle Mariners in which they had the bases loaded with two outs.
The probable pitching matchup Friday will pit May against Mike Minor, who’s struggled this season with a 0-5 record and a 6.75 ERA. The first pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. Pacific time.