Brewers Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Shohei Ohtani Seeking Better Birthday Results

Coming off back-to-back series losses, the Los Angeles Dodgers now welcome a surprising Milwaukee Brewers team to Dodger Stadium on Shohei Ohtani’s birthday.

Ohtani turned 30 years old Friday, and the game marks the sixth time in seven seasons he’s played on his birthday. The lone exception came in 2020, when the pandemic-shortened season did not begin until late July.

Although birthday games are seemingly an annual occasion for Ohtani, he hasn’t fared particularly well in the contests. Entering the series opener against the Brewers, Ohtani is just 2-for-17 with one home run, three strikeouts, one walk and one stolen base on his birthday.

Ohtani has never pitched on his birthday but made one start on the Fourth of July (last year) and twice on July 6 (2021 and 2022).

He’s coming off a hitless performance in a loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but otherwise has put together an impressive first half.

Ohtani leads the National League in plate appearances (388), home runs (27), slugging percentage (.636), on-base plus slugging (1.035), OPS+ (191) and total bases (213).

On the pitching front, Tyler Glasnow makes his 17th start of the year. He enters 8-5 with a 3.23 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, but is coming off his shortest start of the season.

Glasnow labored through just three innings and allowed five runs to the San Francisco Giants. The right-hander said after the game he felt “completely lost” during the start and even lacked feel while warming up in the bullpen.

The Brewers counter with Aaron Civale, whom they acquired in a trade this week that sent Gregory Barrios to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Civale went 2-6 with a 5.06 ERA in 17 starts for the Rays before being traded. Civale makes his Brewers debut in what’s also the first time he’s facing the Dodgers.

The Brewers enter the weekend matchup at 52-36 and with a six-game lead for first place in the NL Central. Milwaukee is 7-3 in their last 10 games.

James Outman is not in the Dodgers lineup but he was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City as a corresponding move to Jason Heyward landing on the 10-day injured list with a left knee contusion. An MRI on Heyward’s knee did not reveal any structural damage to his meniscus or other ligaments.

The Dodgers also recalled Gus Varland and optioned Nick Ramirez as they look to manage a taxed bullpen. Ramirez joined the team on Thursday and pitched two innings in the Dodgers’ Fourth of July loss.

Dodgers lineup

DH: Shohei Ohtani
C: Will Smith
1B: Freddie Freeman
RF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: Andy Pages
SS: Miguel Rojas
LF: Miguel Vargas
2B: Gavin Lux
3B: Chris Taylor

Brewers lineup

2B: Brice Turang
C: William Contreras
DH: Christian Yelich
SS: Willy Adames
CF: Garrett Mitchell
1B: Rhys Hoskins
RF: Sal Frelick
LF: Jackson Chourio
3B: Andruw Monasterio

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