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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May 12, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Game Two – Saturday 7:10 PM (Clayton Kershaw vs. Tyler Chatwood)

Pitching Match-up:  Clayton Kershaw will take the hill in the second game of the series, coming off of a game in which he gave up an unprecedented 4 home runs in 6.1 innings of work. Luckily for him, the offense was able to carry the team that whole night, but expect to see Kershaw come out attacking hitters Saturday night. The whole league knows how much of a competitor he is, and giving up that many home runs in one outing is sure to fuel his fiery demeanor on the hill. On the year, number 22 has pitched to a 2.61 ERA and has gone 1-1 in two outings versus Colorado this season. Tyler Chatwood will throw for the Rockies, who owns a sub-par 4.08 era over 2017. Chatwood lost in his only outing against the Dodgers this year, giving up 5 earned runs over 4 1/3 innings of work.

Dodgers’ Difference Maker: Joc Pederson had an incredibly slow start to his season, but has come around since returning from his concussion. Since his return on June 13th, Pederson is hitting .313 with 3 very long home runs. Pederson owns a career .500/.636/.750 against Chatwood in 8 at-bats. Saturday could be a big game for Pederson to continue his hot streak.

Rockies’ Difference Maker: Nolan Arenado has been having another monster year in 2017. He is currently batting .446 against left-handed pitching, so Kershaw better be on his A-game. Arenado is hitting a combined .301 with 15 home runs for Colorado, and has not been kind to Kershaw over his career. Lifetime, Arenado owns a .310/.341/.524 slash line with two home runs against Kershaw.

Keys to the Game:  If Kershaw is lights out, not much really needs to be said. Kershaw is undefeated when he receives four runs or more, and at their current pace Los Angeles might get that in the first inning. Pouncing on Chatwood early will pave the way for a strong performance for the 3-time Cy Young Award winner.

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