Dodgers Red Sox Game One Preview

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Jul 28, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers will be sending Scott Kazmir to the mound as they begin a three game series with the Red Sox at home tonight.

The Dodgers avoided the sweep last night as they finally got their first win in Colorado during the series with the Rockies. It was a much needed win, but the Giants also won yesterday so the Dodgers still sit two games back in the NL West. They are back home and looking to put the series with the Rockies behind them as they prepare to face the Red Sox.

Scott Kazmir gets the ball this evening. He is coming into tonight’s game with a record of 9-4 and an ERA of 4.41. In 21 games started for the club, or 116.1 innings of work, Kazmir has struck out 124 batters and walked 39. The Dodgers rotation is struggling, with Clayton Kershaw hurt, Brandon McCarthy not making his next start and Bud Norris in a possible DL situation with back discomfort, the Dodgers more than ever need a strong outing from Kazmir.

The Red Sox are sending Steven Wright to the mound. The 31 year-old right hander is coming into this evenings start with a record of 12-5 and an ERA of 3.20.In 21 starts or 137. 2 innings of work, Wright has struck out 114 batters and walked 50. According to Brooks Baseball, Wright primarily relies on his knuckleball (74 MPH), while mixing in his sinker (83 MPH), and a fourseam fastball (86 MPH). He very rarely throws a curve or change. His knuckleball is hard to hit because of the way it floats unpredictably towards the plate. His last outing was on July 31 when he faced the Los Angeles Angels. Wright went five innings and allowed three runs.

The Dodgers and Red Sox almost have identical records. The Dodgers currently have a record of 60-48 and the Red Sox are also two games back in their division and have a record of 59-48. The Red Sox have a road record of 25-23, but the Dodgers have preformed much better at home with a 2016 home record of 33-20.

This is going to be a very important series for the Dodgers especially because the Giants are playing the Nationals again. If they can pick up a couple of wins and the Giants face some trouble, by the end of this series the Dodgers could be in first place.

A normal lineup against a righty. The Dodgers have a little experience against knuckleballers as they faced R.A. Dickey earlier this year in Toronto.

Josh Reddick makes his first home start as a Dodger tonight. He’s still looking for his first hit as a Dodger, but he’s been hitting the ball decently and having good ABs.

This seems literally impossible.

On the Red Sox side, David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup. He has yet to play a game at first this year, so there’s a chance he only sees action this weekend as a pinch hitter. Either way, the Dodgers will honor Ortiz with a pregame ceremony tonight.

What’s a game preview without Dodger injury news. Ross Stripling will start tomorrow for the Dodgers. He was sent to the minors a few days ago, but will be eligible to be recalled when they place Bud Norris on the DL, which they will tomorrow. That’s DL move number 26 on the season, one shy of the single-season record. Rich Hill will make his Dodger debut Sunday.

Next: Dodgers Acquire Hill, Reddick

Trayce Thompson likely won’t be back before rosters expand on September 1st. Clayton Kershaw still isn’t throwing.

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

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