Dodgers: Long Road Trip Starts With the Hated Ones

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Cody Bellinger
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23: Cody Bellinger /

The Dodgers start a long eleven game road trip on Friday with a trip up north to visit their arch rival the San Francisco Giants.  After losing a series to the Marlins, the Dodgers are seeking to bounce back and get ahead of 500.

Dazed but not confused, the Dodgers have to be scratching their heads after dropping two of three games to the Miami Marlins.  Even Clayton Kershaw walked a career-high six batters in Wednesday’s loss to a former substitute teacher.  The offense showed some fight on Wednesday but ultimately it was too little too late.

The Dodgers will play four games in three days due to the rain out that occurred on April 6th.  The start will provide another opportunity for Walker Buehler who is expected to make a start on Saturday due to the 26th man rule for doubleheaders.  The Giants will catch a break as Clayton Kershaw will not start this series despite it being a long four-game series.  Here are the interesting tidbits for the Dodgers four game clash with the hated ones:

Ryu Serious?

Maybe it’s the magic of being in a contract year, or perhaps Hyun-Jin Ryu is finally over his various shoulder ailments.  Ryu leads the Dodgers starting rotation with a 3-0 record and a 1.99 ERA.  After a rough first start, Ryu has gone at least six innings in each of his last three starts and allowed two runs total.  In his last start, Ryu went seven strong innings allowing just two hits and no runs while striking out eight in a pitching duel with Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

Buehler’s Day On

Despite being optioned down to Single-A as a placeholder type move, Walker Buehler is expected to start the first game of the Dodgers day-night doubleheader on Saturday.  In his first major league start, all Buehler did was throw five shutout innings while striking out five against the Marlins.  This is going to be a bump up in competition and in a hostile environment so it will be a good test for Walker.

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Can the Dodgers score off Cueto?

Johnny Cueto has had a superb start for the San Francisco Giants as he brings a 0.35 ERA into his start on Saturday.  Cueto made his first start of the season against the Dodgers and allowed just one hit in seven strong innings.  The Dodgers will have their hands full offensively as they have already struggled to score runs consistently and now they face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball.

Can Seager Ignite the Offense?

The Dodgers offense has had plenty of hitters struggling to start the season such as Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig, and when he was healthy Logan Forsythe.  One player who started slow but is starting to heat up is Corey Seager.  In his last seven games, Seager is hitting .333 with a .483 OBP and a .524 SLG percentage.   If Seager can continue his hot hitting that will provide Matt Kemp and Cody Bellinger with plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.  The Dodgers offense is ranked 21st in hitting with runners on base so this is something that will need to turn around if the Dodgers are going to get back to last year’s form.

Next: The future of the Dodgers on display whenever Buehler starts

San Francisco is generally a house of horrors for the Dodgers but they did win their last game there thanks to Kyle Farmer.  The Dodgers starting rotation needs to hold up strong this weekend to give the Dodgers slumping offense a chance to win each game.  If it turns into a high scoring affair, those are games the Dodgers cannot win right now.