The Los Angeles Dodgers (54-42) are 3-3 on their current 10-game road trip after Wednesday’s 3-1 victory in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. They will now travel to New York for a four-game series against the Mets (49-46), a team that took two out of three from the Dodgers in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Thursday’s game will feature two pitchers that are going in opposite directions. The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound. Kershaw started off the season slow, but has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball as of late. He is 7-6 with a 2.68 ERA on the season with a league-leading 174 strikeouts and 12.0 K/9. The reigning MVP currently holds a 20-inning scoreless innings streak.
Since the turn of June, the left-hander has been almost untouchable. In his last 10 starts, he is 5-3 with a 1.36 ERA. He has not given up a run in his last 20 innings and in his last two starts he has struck out 27 and walked none in 17 innings of work. He has also been outstanding against the Mets in his career, as he is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in eight starts.
Three of the Mets top hitters, Lucas Duda, Curtic Granderson and Juan Lagares are a combined 0-for-17 against him.
Bartolo Colon will get the start Thursday for the Mets. Colon started out the season well, winning nine of his first 13 starts, but since then he has won only one of seven starts. He is 9-8 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the season. In his last start he gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings in a 12-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander has a 5.74 ERA in his last 10 starts.
He has only faced the Dodgers six times in his 18 year career, going 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA.
Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick gets the day off Thursday as he is just 2-for-22 in his career against Colon. Justin Turner moves up to second in the lineup, with Adrian Gonzalez following him up to third and Andre Ethier bats clean-up. Ethier is 3-for-6 with a homer against Colon in his career.
Second baseman Wilmer Flores will bat third for New York. The 23-year-old went 9-for-13 in the teams’ series in Los Angeles. Veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer will miss his fourth straight game with a left knee injury.
While the Dodgers are only 21-25 on the road this season, they have won seven of their last nine at Citi Field dating back to 2012.
CF: Joc Pederson
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Andre Ethier
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
2B: Kike Hernandez
SS: Jimmy Rollins
P: Clayton Kershaw
RF: Curtis Granderson
SS: Ruben Tejada
2B: Wilmer Flores
LF: John Mayberry Jr.
3B: Eric Campbell
1B: Lucas Duda
CF: Juan Lagares
C: Anthony Recker
P: Bartolo Colon