Dodgers Head to the Desert for Their First Road Series of 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Left fielder Matt Kemp
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 31: Left fielder Matt Kemp /
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DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 29: Starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu /

Monday – 6:40 PM Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Taijuan Walker

Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his first start of the 2018 regular season, which is a contract year for him.  Ryu experimented with a curveball for most of the spring but he will now look to put all his pitches together to stymie a potent Diamondbacks offense.  Nick Ahmed is one hot hitter that Ryu will need to cool down.  Ahmed has six RBI’s already on the young season and one home run.

Taijuan Walker will start game one of the series after starting game one of the NLDS last October.  While it’s hard to call anyone on the Dodgers a hot hitter after they were shutout twice so far, Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor did post multi-hit games on Sunday.  Walker will also try to send Cody Bellinger back into his offensive struggles after Bellinger went deep in Sunday’s game for his first hit of the season.

Hitter to watch against Ryu:

Paul Goldschmidt – While you could probably list Goldschmidt as a Dodger killer no matter who is the mound, Goldy has two career home runs off Ryu and a .429 batting average against.  Goldschmidt is actually hitless to begin the 2018 season, but that should be scary as it means he is going to break out one of these games.

Hitter to watch against Walker:

Corey Seager – The Dodgers have not had a ton of at-bats against Taijuan Walker since he was a Seattle Mariner up until his trade to the Dbacks.  Corey Seager has a home run and 3 RBI’s in his six plate appearances against Walker.  Seager is still searching for his first home run of the 2018 season so hopefully, he hits that milestone tonight.