The Dodgers and Rockies will square off on Wednesday for the rubber match of their series against one another this season. The starters for Wednesday’s game are Kenta Maeda and Kyle Freeland.
Kenta Maeda (3-3, 3.89 ERA) Vs. Kyle Freeland (4-4, 3.17 ERA)
Kenta Maeda is coming off his best start of the season as he pitched eight shutout innings allowing no walks or runs and just two hits against the Marlins last Thursday. That was the game that kick-started the Dodgers before their sweep of the Washington Nationals. Maeda has been striking out more hitters this season as he is averaging 11 K/9IP. Maeda has failed to pitch deep into games with the exception of his last starts so he will look to build off of last Thursday’s start. His BABIP is pretty high at .342 so as that evens out there should continue to be better results from Maeda.
The hitters to watch out for against Kenta are Charlie Blackmon and Chris Iannetta. Blackmon terrorizes most pitchers, and he has a .364 average against Maeda with one home run. Iannetta has only six at-bats against Maeda, but he has two home runs and three hits in those six at-bats. Surprisingly, Nolan Arenado has struggled against Kenta Maeda hitting only .143 in fourteen career at-bats. Nolan has no homers or runs batted in against Kenta, so that is a statistic that hopefully stays true after tonight’s game.
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Kyle Freeland is coming into Wednesday’s start on an impressive streak as he has thrown five straight quality starts and gone at least six innings in his past three starts. In Freeland’s last start he threw six-plus innings of one-run ball against the San Francisco Giants. Despite averaging just 91.6 miles per hour on his fastball, Freeland is recording eight strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He has been on the luckier side so far this season as his BABIP is just .260. Freeland is not going to over power the Dodgers hitters, so they need to be patient and wait for their pitch to hit.
Yasiel Puig is the only current Dodgers player who has homered off of Freeland, but he is batting just .167 against him. Justin Turner has hit a scorching .545 off of Freeland in his career. Cody Bellinger has only hit .207 against southpaws this season, but he is 2-3 with three RBI’s against Freeland so he will look to once again get a big knock-off of a southpaw. Logan Forsythe is 0-9 versus Kyle Freeland so he will likely start tonight and look to get his first hit against him.
Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig both hit home runs last night, and they will look to continue their offensive surge against a hittable lefty tonight. Taylor in particular has had a rough start to the 2018 season and the Dodgers could desperately use a return to last year’s form if they are going to be a serious contender this season.