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Series Preview: Dodgers at Pirates

Colorado Rockies v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Another visitor from the National League West comes to town as the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Pirates. LA has the best record in the NL (32-18) and have won seven of their last ten. The Dodgers are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for third-highest run differential in the league (+62).

After a strong road trip, the Buccos dropped two of three against the Colorado Rockies and were outscored 20-17 (most of which came from yesterday’s offensive explosion).

LA is 13-12 on the road so far in 2019 and have a 19-12 record against teams above .500. This will be the first time these two face each other this season. The Pirates will battle against the three best starters (statistic-wise) in the Dodgers rotation.

Schedule

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — Pirates Starter TBD vs. Walker Buehler (4-1, 3.86 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Saturday, 7:15 p.m. — Joe Musgrove (3-4, 3.67 ERA) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-1, 1.52 ERA)
TV: FOX

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Chris Archer (1-4, 5.55 ERA) vs. Kenta Maeda (5-2, 3.51 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Dodgers Notes

Offense

-LA has one of the most potent offenses in baseball, in large part to due to slugger Cody Bellinger, who is making an early case for NL MVP. Bellinger leads all of baseball with a 4.1 WAR, which is almost a full point better than the Angels’ Mike Trout (3.2).

-As a team, the Dodgers have 77 home runs with 41 coming from Bellinger (17), Joc Peterson (14) and Max Muncy (10).

-The Dodgers’ offensive slash line is .252 (11th)/.341 (5th)/.446 (7th) along with the fourth-best wRC+ in the league (113)

Pitching

-Buehler will lead the series off against the Pirates. He has never faced Pittsburgh in his two and a half year career. His starts have been up and down in 2019, with his best being back on May 11th against the Washington Nationals in which he went seven innings giving up four hits, no earned runs, and a 7-1 K/BB-rate. His last start (against the Cincinnati Reds) was uneven as he went six innings, gave up seven hits, allowed four runs (one earned) with seven Ks and no walks.

-Game two features southpaw Ryu, one of the best pitchers in baseball. He hasn’t faced the Pirates since August 2017 (6 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, and 2 Ks). Ryu has allowed just 1 earned run in his last 32 innings pitched.

-The series finale on Sunday afternoon sees Maeda taking the hill for the Dodgers. The righty’s last two starts of 12.2 innings pitched has yielded no earned runs, four hits and a 9-1 K/BB-ratio. Like Ryu, Maeda last faced the Pirates in 2017 (8.1 IP, five hits, two earned runs, and five strikeouts with no walks).