After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to begin a series with the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers send their ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound Monday night. Despite missing the first month of the season, Kershaw holds the MLB’s best record at 17-3 and lowest ERA at 1.70. It will be Kershaw’s third time facing the Padres in 2014.
In each of his previous outings, Kershaw has been completely dominant. The first time he faced the Padres, he struck out 11 in a complete game July 10. The second time around, he got 10 Padres to strike out over eight innings of work.
In both games, Kershaw only allowed a single run, but will be looking for a little more run support Monday as the Dodgers won both of his previous starts, 2-1.
Starting opposite Kershaw be Odrisamer Despaigne, who comes in with a 3-5 record and 3.06 ERA. Since making his debut in June, Despaigne has pitched relatively well for the Padres.
When he faced the Dodgers for the first time, he went up against Kershaw and suffered up with the loss despite allowing just two runs and striking out seven while pitching seven innings.
Despaigne is coming off a no-decision in his last start. While taking on the Diamondbacks lineup, he held them to a single run and four hits. The Padres took him out after seven innings and came away with a 2-1 win after scoring in the ninth.
A day after batting seventh in the order, Yasiel Puig finds himself in the sixth spot Monday. While failing to register a hit against the Diamondbacks, Puig continued to slump and has seen his batting average drop from .323 to .293.
The Dodgers will need Puig to have a better results against the Padres this time around as the outfielder struck out in over half his plate appearances the last time the two teams played a series.
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