The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally back home after a rollercoaster 5-3 road trip. The Blue Crew swept a four-game series against the Nationals, then lost the first three games of a four-game series against the Marlins before salving Thursday’s game.
Now in their last series before the All-Star Game break, they will host the league-worst Arizona Diamondbacks, who own a record of 25-64. This season has been one Arizona wants to put behind them rather quickly, as they’ve lost 28 out of 29 of their last road games.
The two teams have met six times so far this season with the Dodgers winning all six. Currently, Los Angeles is one game back of the Giants for first place in the National League West Division. A nice way to close out the first half before the break definitely will be to grab that first place spot. The Giants take on the Nationals this weekend in San Francisco.
Beginning the series, the Dodgers will face Arizona right-hander Taylor Widener, who is 1-0 on the season with a 2.63 ERA. In 24 innings, he’s allowed twenty hits and eight walks while striking out 20 batters. The Dodgers haven’t yet announced a starter for the opener, but it is expected it will be another bullpen game with veteran left-hander David Price starting.
Weekend pitching matchups will be on Saturday Walker Buehler against left-hander Caleb Smith, who’s 2-5 with a 3.45 ERA. Closing out the series on Sunday will be Tony Gonsolin against righty Merrill Kelly who’s 5-7 with a 4.60 ERA
In the Dodgers 6-1 win over the Marlins on Thursday, Julio Urias threw a gem, going seven innings and allowing one run while striking out nine batters. It was a much-needed performance by Urias with another bullpen game on deck. At the moment, the Dodgers are down to just two pitchers who were part of the Opening Day starting rotation. Not to forget Clayton Kershaw’s recent injury which landed him on the injured list. Before the season, I talked a lot about the Dodgers depth, but it surely has been tested this year.
Perhaps the Los Angeles front office will look to make a move for a starting pitcher in the immediate future or bring someone up from the farm system to help take the pressure off the relief crew. The MLB trade deadline is just now three weeks away.
The Dodgers have used 13 relief pitchers just in the past seven days, which is nearly how many they used last year total during the shortened season.
The MLB Draft is set to take place this Sunday, July 11. Former Dodger outfielder and two-time all-star Andre Ethier will represent the Dodgers at the event in Denver.
Baseball Prospectus also announced their Midseason Top 50 prospects list, and two Dodgers were on the list. Switch-hitting catcher Keibert Ruiz from Triple A Oklahoma City placed 39th and third baseman Miguel Vargas, from the Double-A Tulsa placed 38th.
So the first half has come and gone. In the meantime, the Dodgers will look to stay undefeated against the Diamondbacks this year while Arizona looks to win their second straight series after taking two out of three from the Rockies.
Lineup for Friday’s opener:
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.