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Series Preview: Pirates at Dodgers

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

There are certainly better places for the Pirates to go in hopes of busting a losing streak.

Alas, the Bucs (12-11) carry a five-game losing streak out west to Chavez Ravine, where they haven’t won a game since 2016. The Pirates went a combined 2-11 against the Dodgers the last two years, 0-6 in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers whipped the Pirates by a combined 31-8 in 2018’s three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium, thanks largely to a 17-1 Los Angeles win on July 2.

The Dodgers find themselves in their normal spot atop the National League West, a half-game ahead of Arizona, though the Diamondbacks face a major hurdle in having to go back to playing teams other than the Pirates.

This series will wrap up a stretch of 20 (!!!) straight games the Dodgers play against NL Central opponents. Los Angeles dropped two of three to the Cubs in Chicago this week, salvaging a 2-1 win on Thursday.

Schedule

Friday, 10:10 p.m. — Chris Archer (1-1, 2.74 ERA) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.10), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Saturday, 9:10 p.m. — Joe Musgrove (1-1, 1.59) vs. Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 2.77), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Sunday, 4:10 p.m. — Trevor Williams (1-1, 2.59) vs. Rich Hill (0-0, 0.00), TV: AT&T SportsNet

Dodgers

16-11 (16-11 Pythag, 5.41 RS/G, 4.52 RA/G)

Offense

Cody Bellinger (.426/.500/.894, 12 HR) is off to a historic start, just two total bases away from recording the most before May 1 in MLB history. He leads Major League batters with 2.5 fWAR, with a lead of 0.5 over even second-place Christian Yelich. Joc Pederson (.263/.380/.697) has belted 10 homers. Alex Verdugo (.345/.367/.690, 4 HR) has been excellent in partial playing time, making sure there’s yet another logjam in the Dodgers outfield.

Pitching

Clayton Kershaw (9.00 K/9, 2.77 BB/9) appears to be at his velocity-decline stage; he should remain a top pitcher sitting in the low 90s. He’s had two solid starts after a late beginning to his season. Rich Hill will make his season debut on Sunday, giving the Dodgers their full projected starting rotation for the first time. Joe Kelly (8.25 K/9, 1.50) signed as a free agent this past offseason and is setting up Kenley Jansen in the bullpen.

Poll

How many games will the Pirates win in Los Angeles?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    3
    (18 votes)
  • 11%
    2
    (25 votes)
  • 44%
    1
    (100 votes)
  • 36%
    0
    (83 votes)
226 votes total Vote Now