Dodgers DBacks Game 1 Preview

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I’m back, and thanks to the Foo Fighters I probably have tinnitus. Worth it.

The Dodgers didn’t get no-hit over the weekend, so that was nice. They did lose their first series in almost a month, but the Pirates are an obnoxiously good team and both losses were by one run, and one of them came with Mike Bolsinger on the hill against Gerrit Cole. The only important thing about the weekend is that the Dodgers are still 7.5 up on the Giants and the magic number is down to seven, with seven games coming up against the Diamondbacks and Rockies before a hopefully meaningless series in SF. Even if that series does have any division implications, right now Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are lined up to throw the first two games. As sweet as it would be to clinch up there, it would still be a lot easier on my stress levels if they could clinch in Colorado.

Sep 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman

Paul Goldschmidt

celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

First they have to deal with the Diamondbacks for their last series of the season. They’ve won 11 of 15 against Arizona so far this season, and have won all six of the previous games at Dodger Stadium. Brett Anderson gets the ball for the Dodgers and is 11 1/3 innings away from matching his previous career high, which came in his rookie year. Anderson has been nothing but solid in his 28 starts, with a 3.35 ERA (3.82 FIP) and a 66.5 ground ball rate, which is almost five percent higher than the next highest ground ball rate.

This will be BrAnderson’s fifth start of the season against Arizona, and he’s allowed eight runs and four homers in his previous 24 innings this season against the Diamondbacks. His last outing against them came in July in Arizona, where Anderson allowed one run in seven innings, which is arguably Anderson’s best start as a Dodger. Paul Goldschmidt, Dodger killer, has seven hits in 13 at bats against Anderson with two homers, and Aaron Hill and Yasmany Tomas have also taken Anderson yard.

Jhoulys Chacin will make his fourth start of the season after being released by the Indians before making a start for them. He’s allowed exactly two runs in each of his first three starts, all of which came in Arizona. The long-time Rockie has thrown more innings in his career against the Dodgers than against any other team and owns a career 3.76 ERA in 105 1/3 innings against them. As a team, current Dodgers are hitting .346 against Chacin in the past and Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis are all hitting over .300 (Ellis and Ethier > .400) against him in double-digit plate appearances.

The Chase Utley third base experiment begins tonight. Utley will be making his first career start at third base after 1,460 at second and 25 at first. His at times lackluster arm at second makes me question this move, but it’s happening.

Corey Seager is in the lineup and hopefully that will be the case forever. In his 16 career games, he’s reached base in 15 of them via walk or hit. The only time he didn’t was in his third appearance, when he came in as a pinch hitter and flew out to left in San Diego.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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