Dodgers Cardinals Game One Preview

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Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy (38) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy (38) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers look to start the last series of the road trip with a win in St. Louis.

Yesterday’s game was sorta grueling for the final five innings, but the first four were pretty cool, so the Dodgers took two of three from the Nationals and five of six against them this season. For a potential playoff opponent, that’s not bad at all, especially considering Corey Seager missed the three road games and the rotation is sorta in shambles.

Today is the start of a new series against another potential playoff team, the Cardinals. The Cards, much like the Dodgers, have had a disappointing year and are looking up at a team that could do no wrong for the first half of the season. They’re 6.5 games back of the Cubs and a game behind the Marlins for the second wild card spot, despite having the third-best run differential in all of baseball (+102). They’ve been road warriors but have struggled at Busch with a 24-28 record at home.

Brandon McCarthy makes his fourth start for the Dodgers this year after three pretty good outings. McCarthy has still yet to eclipse 80 pitches in a start, but he’s allowed 12 baserunners (eight hits, four walks) in 16 innings and only allowed three runs. He’s looked sharp so far, so if he can build up his arm and go a bit deeper in games, he could be that number two starter the Dodgers have so desperately needed.

Michael Wacha starts for the Cardinals and is coming off a four-inning outing against the Marlins. Wacha has had a down year this year, including a stretch when he didn’t pitch past the fourth in three consecutive starts, the first of which came in LA against the Dodgers on May 13th. Wacha’s FIP is .23 lower than it was last season, but his ERA is up from 3.38 to 4.45. Wacha had a bigger burden with Lance Lynn sidelined with Tommy John, but he hasn’t quite lived up to it yet.

Seager returns to the starting lineup for the first time since the finale in Arizona. Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson filled in semi-decently, but having Seager out of the lineup was not a fun glimpse into what this team would have been had they moved him for Cole Hamels.

Yasiel Puig remains out of the lineup with a hammy. He was reportedly getting tested on the field before the game, so hopefully the injury is less serious than we’re all assuming.

In roster news, Julio Urias was sent back to OKC. The Dodgers have three off days in the next two weeks, so they could potentially not need a fifth starter until August 6th. Austin Barnes was recalled and will hopefully actually get to play on this stint in the majors.

Next: Dodgers Targeting Chris Archer?

First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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