After a six-game homestand, the Dodgers will begin a six-game road trip, all against against division opponents. First up will be the Arizona Diamondbacks, who the Dodgers previously swept last month.
In a year in when the National League West Division has three of the best teams in the majors, the Diamondbacks surely don’t fall into that category. They currently have the worst record in the league at 20-50 and are riding a 14-game losing streak. Arizona currently has the worst record in history for an NL team throughout 70 games since the 1969 Expos.
They’ve also lost 23 road games in a row and are riding a stretch in which they are 6-37. For the NL West, it seems as if the Diamondbacks are the punching bag of the division.
The Dodgers come in with a record of 41-27 and are two and a half games back of the Giants for the division lead. Anything less than a sweep against Arizona for the Dodgers might be underachieving. Obviously, any team can beat another during the stretch of a long season, but the Diamondbacks right now are at quite a low.
Starting on the mound this weekend for the Dodgers will be all right handers in Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin. Arizona will send left hander Caleb Smith to the mound against Bauer on Friday and righty Matt Peacock to the hill Saturday. No starter has been announced for Sunday.
Slowly the Dodgers are trying to get healthy during a huge injury carousel. Shortstop Corey Seager, according to manager Dave Roberts, can possibly begin a rehab stint at some point next week. However, Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy still remain on the injured list.
After this series, the Dodgers will visit the Padres before beginning another home stand to close out the month against the Cubs and the Giants. It is quite important that the Dodgers take care of business in Arizona as they will then face three consecutive opponents who are in the NL playoff mix, with two of those obviously being division foes.
Beginning the series is Bauer. As previously stated, so far he’s 6-5 and has a 2.64 ERA. In his last start, he was roughed a bit against the Texas Rangers, gaving up nine hits and six runs, four of those earned. Bauer will look to bounce back against Arizona, the team that originally drafted him out of UCLA.
Following Bauer will be Buehler, who’s been great this season posting a 6-0 record and a 2.38 ERA, while Gonsolin will close out the series. Gonsolin has a 3.38 ERA but has struggled with command since returning to the active roster.
Friday also marks the seven-year anniversary of Clayton Kershaw’s no hitter against the Colorado Rockies, only possibly being a Hanley Ramirez error away from a perfect game. Of course, we also all have to remember the great play by now Marlin Miguel Rojas and the scoop at first base by Adrian Gonzalez to secure the gem.
So Friday will see the team with the second-best record in the National League take on the team with the league’s worst record.
First pitch for Friday’s opener in Arizona is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Pacific.