Dodgers: The Battle for the NL West

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May 13, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers hang on the dugout wall of Coors Field during the sixth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers hang on the dugout wall of Coors Field during the sixth inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 16, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood releases a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Game One – Friday 7:10 PM (Alex Wood vs. Kyle Freeland)

Pitching Match-up:  Alex Wood will get the ball to open up the series for Los Angeles. On the year, Wood has been a great boost for the rotation, pitching to a season 1.90 ERA with an undefeated record of 7-0. In his one appearance versus Colorado this year, Wood pitched 6 innings while striking out 10 en route to a 4-0 Dodgers’ victory. On the other side, Kyle Freeland will make his 15th start of the season. Freeland is 8-4 on the year, with a 3.42 ERA. Freeland has faced the Dodgers twice this year, and Colorado came away with wins in both of those games. On April 7th, he threw 6 innings and limited Los Angeles to 1 earned run. On April 18th, Freeland exited the game after 4 innings, but again limited the boys in blue to one earned run.

Dodgers’ Difference Maker: Justin Turner continues to make his case for an all-star appearance, and his power numbers have certainly returned since coming off of the disabled list. On the year, Turner owns a .367 average against southpaw pitching and a combined .387 overall. His power was on display over the past week, blasting three home runs in his last four games.

Rockies’ Difference Maker: Charlie Blackmon has been having one of the more productive offensive seasons of any major league outfielder. In the month of June, Blackmon carries a .333/.427.587 slash line, and has managed to crush left-handed pitching despite the lefty-lefty matchup at a .323 season average.

Keys to the Game:  For Los Angeles, they don’t have to worry about facing a lefty anymore, but  they will need to jump on Freeland early. Colorado’s bullpen has been superb this year, so they need to score runs where they can get them. The offense has certainly been there for them the past few games, so lets see if that can carry them into the weekend.

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