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Preview: Dodgers Return Home for Crucial Series vs. D’Backs

Dodgers
May 2, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Alex Verdugo (61) beats a throw to Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Deven Marrero (10) to steal third base during the eighth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, there’s no place like home. In what seems like an eternity, the Dodgers finally return home. L.A. will welcome the D’Backs to Chavez Ravine for a quick two-game series. When the series wraps up, it will be 12 times the two teams will have already squared off. Arizona currently leads the season series, 7-3.

Probable Starters

Tuesday: Rich Hill (1-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. Zack Godley (4-2, 3.41 ERA)

Welcome back, Rich Hill! After spending nearly three weeks on the disabled list, Hill finally returns to the rotation. Notoriously known for having blister issues, this D.L. stint was caused to inflammation in his left middle finger. For about a week, his return has continuously been pushed back.

After an impressive opening debut to start the season, Hill was rocky in his last two. He allowed three runs in four innings in San Francisco, and followed by allowing seven runs in five innings at Arizona. Against the D’Backs, Hill allowed two homers and seven hits, while walking two. There’s no question the Dodgers are a much better team when Hill has his best stuff. Hopefully this time off will help him get back to the Rich Hill we all know and love.

The D’Backs have lost two of Godley’s six starts on the year. Fittingly, those both came at the hands of the Dodgers. In his last matchup with L.A., Godley allowed only one run over six innings. Lack of run support led to him getting the loss. In his first start at Dodger Stadium, he issued six walks and six runs in four innings. It’s safe to say, the Dodgers have his number.

Wednesday: Alex Wood (0-3, 3.83 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (4-0, 2.15 ERA)

Alex Wood has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his seven starts this season. He last pitched against Arizona, and had one of his better starts. He allowed one run in five innings, while striking out eight, a season-high. Though his ERA was zero wins are unappealing, Wood owns the fifth-best WHIP in the national league, at 0.93.

Corbin has been the best pitcher for Arizona this year. His 60 strikeouts are good for second in the N.L. He has seven or more strikeouts in all but one start this year, including two games in double digits. His 0.76 WHIP is best in the league. Corbin last pitched against the Dodgers, going six innings and leaving in line for the win. He recorded a season-low 10 swinging strikes.

Players to Watch

Arizona: A.J. Pollock

I’m sure by now, Dodgers fans are tired of hearing this name. Over his last 15 games, Pollock is hitting .368 with six home runs and 15 runs driven in. In last weeks four-game series, Pollock had eight hits, with half of them being home-runs. He was rewarded N.L. player of the week for his performance.

Los Angeles: Matt Kemp

Who would have guessed Kemp would be L.A.’s best hitter this season? Over his last 15 games, Kemp is hitting .348. More notably, he’s hitting an astonishing .440 over his last seven.

Analysis

Every series is huge for the Dodgers, but this one has a little extra bit on importance. The Dodgers currently sit eight games behind the D’backs for first in the division. If L.A. can get a two-game sweep, they’ll find themselves a very doable six games back. If they lose both, they’ll find themselves 10 games back. With so many games remaining, no deficit it insurmountable, but it’s definitely something the Dodgers will hope to try and avoid. This will be a very telling series for the Dodgers. It will be interesting to see how they come out and play. Hopefully playing at home will give them the spark they desperately need, and help guide things to get back on track!

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-sign-danny-espinosa-to-minor-league-contract-bh0796/2018/05/07/”]Dodgers Sign Danny Espinosa to Minor League Contract[/button]

Written by Blake Harris

Blake is currently studying sports journalism at Arizona State University. He covers both the basketball and baseball teams, while hosting a weekly baseball show on the school's radio program. In his spare time, he edits highlight videos for collegiate and professional athletes. He currently has over 125,000 subscribers and 70 million views on Youtube. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he passionately roots for the Dodgers, Clippers, and Saints.

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