On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers kick off another marquee series at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Just a week ago – the Brewers came into Dodger Stadium and took two of three games from the defending NL central champs. Now, the Dodgers are getting healthy in the rotation with their ace back in the fold in Clayton Kershaw.
With no bullpen game planned, and all position players healthy; the full-strength Dodgers will need to win the series to win the season series against Milwaukee. Currently at 12-8, Los Angeles sits in first place in the NL West. By the same token, the Brewers are 12-7 and in first place in the NL Central.
While it’s only April, this is a series that should get some love; and some viewership around the league.
Thursday – Julio Urias vs. Zach Davies
Friday – Ross Stripling vs. Jhoulys Chacin
Saturday – Clayton Kershaw vs. Freddy Peralta
Sunday – Kenta Maeda vs. Brandon Woodruff
Julio Urias needs a rebound after tough back-to-back starts. Furthermore, the Dodgers face Davies in the opener of the series. Davies held the Dodgers to just one run in Los Angeles, a Cody Bellinger home run.
There is no ‘marquee’ match-up of aces, but it’s worth nothing that Clayton Kershaw takes the bump in game three of the series on Saturday. Kershaw had a beautiful first start of the 2019 season, going five innings of two-run baseball; surrendering only five hits. In fact, Stripling and Maeda were incredibly sharp their last time out just like the big left-hander.
Dodgers Immobilizing Christian Yelich
I felt like the Dodgers have done a nice job of shutting down reigning MVP, Christian Yelich. However, I didn’t know the statistics on this; so our friend Rick Krajewski (best stats guy in the biz, follow him here) looked it up for us. Here’s the story the numbers tell:
Last 10 vs LAD (covers NLCS & last weekend):
Yelich = 7 for 40 (.175 AVG) / .283 OBP / .275 SLG / 1 HR / 6 Runs & 1 RBI / 8 Ks
So yeah, fair to say he's been immobilized over the last couple series against them. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more info for the post https://t.co/OSJiseRAvq
— Rick Krajewski (@Rick_K21) April 18, 2019
Indeed, the Dodgers are shutting down one of the most potent offensive forces in the game dating back to last season. For the Dodgers to win or split this series, I think they need to continue using the same book they have been to get Yelich out. Earlier in the week, Yelich homered four times in two ballgames. Even if Los Angeles has been successful thus far, keeping a talent like Yelich quiet for a four-game series is never going to be an easy task.
At the current moment – Yelich is slashing .356/.448/.781 for the season. Furthermore, he’s drawn comparisons to Cody Bellinger as to who is the best offensive player in the NL during the 2019 season.
It’s interesting that this will be the last time these two teams see one another before the postseason. Also, if we are being honest; it feels kind of de facto that their paths will cross again in 2019. Perhaps a budding rivalry began last October in the seven game battle that decided who advanced to the World Series. When these two teams kick things off on Thursday night, I expect a continuation of good baseball with a lot of start power on both sides.
Simply, you couldn’t ask for more.
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-rich-hill-rehabilitation-start-for-the-quakes/2019/04/18/” type=”big”] Rich Hill Rehab Start Report by Tim Rogers[/button]