Following a successful series in Chicago, the Los Angeles Dodgers will travel to play the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Wait. Sorry. That can't be right. Travel?
Wait. Also, sorry. This can't be right, either. The first-place Pirates?!
Yup. It's all true. The Dodgers somehow found their way from ChiTown to Pittsburgh, and when they get there, they'll face an upstart Pirates team everyone laughed at this offseason for completing half-measures toward relevance while still opting out of spending real money and being a competitive team. Hell, they still haven't managed to extend Bryan Reynolds! Even the Cubs did that, locking Ian Happ down long-term!
Somehow, this combination of emerging young talent, plus mentorship from the likes of Carlos Santana and conquering hero Andrew McCutchen, is 16-7 on the season. That means a tough matchup for the Dodgers, who are still treading water somewhat at 12-11 on the season.
The Diamondbacks are still plodding along. The Padres haven't woken up yet. That makes this a statement series for the Dodgers. Let's see if they can make one.
Dodgers Lineup for Tuesday, April 25 vs Pirates
Welcome, Michael Busch!
Dodgers Pitching Probables for Tuesday, April 25 vs Pirates
The Dodgers will send Noah Syndergaard and his relatively ineffective four-seam fastball (sorry!) to the mound in the opener. Through four starts, he's leaned more heavily on his brand-new cutter, and though he's only posted one non-"quality start" so far, it's safe to say he expects better than a line of 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA.
On the mound for the Bucs is Johan Oviedo, who's been dealing so far this season. He sports a 2.22 ERA in four starts wth 25 Ks in 24.1 innings pitched. It could all fall down like a house of cards for the Buccos ... in theory ... but with pitching like this, they're cooking quite nicely so far. Crazy.