If it seems as though the Los Angeles Dodgers have been in this position before, it’s because they have. With plenty of frequency. In the midst of an eight-game winning streak, the Dodgers can complete their 11th series sweep of the season.
Should they do so, the Miami Marlins will have lost each six of the seven head-to-head meetings this year. In addition to their winning streak, the Dodgers are the fourth team in the last 50 years to go on a 28-4 stretch.
Rich Hill makes a triumphant return to Marlins Park for the first time since firing seven perfect innings last September. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said removing Hill from the bid for history left him “sick to his stomach.” Hill said he understood the decision, and both parties seemingly moved on.
After a rocky and interrupted start to this season, the southpaw has hit his stride in recent weeks. Hill has allowed just four runs on 10 hits while collecting 27 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched across his last three starts.
Prior to the current stretch, he failed to throw more than five innings in his first nine starts this season. Hill takes the mound Sunday afternoon 5-4 on the year with a 3.69 ERA, 4.07 FIP and 1.23 WHIP.
Whereas the Dodgers hand the ball to a veteran, the Marlins are at the opposite end of the spectrum by sending Chris O’Grady to the hill for his second career start.
O’Grady began the season with Triple-A New Orleans, where he went 3-5 with a 3.29 ERA and had at least five strikeouts in four of 12 games (10 starts). O’Grady made a trio of relief appearances before joining the rotation.
The 27-year-old faced the San Francisco Giants in his MLB debut on July 8, allowing three runs over 5.1 innings and earning the win.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sends out a different lineup in the series finale than he did in in the first two games. Chris Taylor remains in left field but is replaced atop the batting by Logan Forsythe.
Austin Barnes starts behind the plate in place of Yasmani Grandal, and Kiké Hernandez is in right field and hitting seventh. Hernandez is batting .213/.306/.447 in 82 games and has already set career highs in doubles (18), home runs (eight) and RBI (25).
J.T. Realmuto is not in the lineup but is in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 16 consecutive games against the Dodgers. A.J. Ellis earns the start against his former team.
Ellis went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his lone start during the four-game set at Dodger Stadium in May.
2B: Logan Forsythe
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
C: Austin Barnes
RF: Kiké Hernandez
CF: Trayce Thompson
P: Rich Hill
3B: Martin Prado
RF: Giancarlo Stanton
CF: Christian Yelich
LF: Marcell Ozuna
1B: Tyler Moore
2B: Derek Dietrich
C: A.J. Ellis
SS: JT Riddle
P: Chris O’Grady