Dodgers Phillies Game One Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers open up a road trip only a half game out of first place.
The Dodgers didn’t play yesterday, but they got a win when the Pirates defeated Matt Moore and the Giants. This moved the Dodgers to a half game out of first place, and both teams face teams from Philadelphia as the Giants continue their series with the Pirates and the Dodgers open one with the Phillies.
The off day was very much needed, as the Dodgers had two consecutive starting pitchers fail to reach the third inning. Brandon McCarthy was wild on Saturday and hit the DL with a hip injury suffered two weeks ago, and Brett Anderson made his return and got rocked by the Pirates. To add injury to insult, he banged up his wrist and isn’t a sure thing to make his second start.
The bullpen got a day off after a day game, so they should be well-rested. If they’re not, they can use a deep outing today by Kenta Maeda. Maeda is the Dodgers de facto ace right now, but he’s been very good for the Dodgers this year. He owns a 3.31 ERA/3.60 FIP and has stuck out just under a batter per inning (129 K’s, 130 IP). Maeda has struggled a bit with efficiency lately, as he’s failed to finish six innings in his last two outings. His last start came against these Phillies at Dodger Stadium, and Maeda allowed three runs (two homers), but picked up the win.
The Dodgers scored nine runs in 4.2 innings off Vincent Velasquez that day, and Velasquez has a chance to bounce back today. Velasquez is a much different pitcher at home, as he owns a 1.72 ERA in nine home starts.
Justin Turner is back in the lineup after missing the last two games with a hand issue. While Rob Segedin has performed very well, this lineup is so deep. There’s not much speed, but if Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson continue to hit the way they have been lately, there are no easy outs here.
Chase Utley hits leadoff in his first trip to Philly since being traded to the Dodgers last August. I would suspect he’ll get a nicer moment in Philly than he did in New York. Utley has started 718 games in his career at Citizens Bank, but number 719 will be his first as a member of the opposing team.
Next: Dodgers Approaching Key Part of Schedule
The Dodgers made a roster move, releasing Zack Walters, who was DFA’d before Sunday’s game. Brock Stewart was sent down after tossing three quality innings of relief on Sunday to make room for Casey Fien, who was activated from the DL. Fien made his last major league appearance exactly one month ago, and should provide the bullpen with a not-overused arm for middle-inning relief.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.