The Dodgers will face the Yankees at Dodger Stadium in a much anticipated match-up of two iconic franchises for a short two-game series.
The Dodgers are coming off an impressive series against the Cincinnati Reds, taking three out of four at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers now have a 2.5 game lead in the NL West and are looking to extend their lead against the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees are also in a chase of their own, as they try and close the gap on the second AL Wild Card. Coming into today’s game the Yankees are 55-50 and in fourth place in AL East, but they are only 2.5 games back in the chase for the last Wild Card spot.
The Dodgers will face Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda tonight and tomorrow, but the return of Derek Jeter is what has Yankees fans excited. In a season riddled with injuries, the Yankees are also dealing with Alex Rodriguez suspension as they being a five-game West Coast trip tonight.
Here are the three keys to the series:
1. Zack Greinke:
Greinke must bounce back from his loss and get back to his usual self after allowing four runs and six hits in his loss to the Reds. Greinke has a favorable matchup as he faces a struggling Yankees line-up. The Yankees rank 24th in batting average, so this is definitely a good opportunity for Greinke to get another victory.
While he’s struggled against the Yankees from his days with the Royals and Angels in the AL, Greinke’s pitching the best he has as a Dodger and has the chance to set the tone for the short series.
2. Dodgers Offense:
Although the Dodgers won three out of four against the Reds, they still struggled offensively. They Dodgers only managed to score nine runs in their last four games and this is not going to cut it . Their starting pitching needs the run support to be effective and the Dodgers bats are too talented not to perform.
Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier are key hitters as Crawford needs to start getting on base to give Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley people to drive in.
3. Shut Down Derek Jeter
The Yankees have struggled this season, but they’re still playing for something. The Yankees are hoping he can bring a spark to the offense and he has already delivered with a home run in his first at-bat after his second DL stint. If the Dodgers can shut him down at the top of the lineup, it will bode well from them in the two games.
Prediction: The Dodgers are still the hottest team in baseball and the Yankees are struggling. Not to mention the Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke on the mound. Get your broom sticks ready Dodgers Nation, this is going to be a sweep, only of the two-game variety.