Dodgers Vs. Diamondbacks Game Preview: Chance To Clinch Series Victory

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a chance to clinch a series victory against the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks after winning the first two games at Chase Field.

The Dodgers enter the game in first place of the National League with a 31-14 record and an MLB-best +116 run differential. That’s an astonishing 41 runs better than the New York Yankees, the next closest team.

While the D-Backs sit in fourth place in the NL West standings, they have been somewhat surprising so far at just one game below .500 with a 23-24 record, but their -31 run differential suggests they’ve benefitted from a bit of luck.

In what has become a somewhat frequent event, Tony Gonsolin takes the ball for the Dodgers against Arizona. Of Gonsolin’s career 35 starts, 10 have come versus the Diamondbacks and he has thrown roughly 26% of his career innings against them.

Gonsolin has also faced the Diamondbacks two times this season and allowed four earned runs in 10 innings. This season, he owns a 1.62 ERA and 3.55 FIP in 35 innings.

The 28-year-old has taken a huge step forward and become someone the Dodgers can rely upon to pitch a quality game. Gonsolin has tried to carry the momentum he builds in each game to the next, which has helped him find more consistency.

The Diamondbacks counter with Merrill Kelly, who has also had a strong start to his season. In 49 innings, the right-hander has posted a 3.49 ERA and 3.12 FIP, but the Dodgers can take advantage of his somewhat low strikeout numbers (7.71 strikeouts per nine) and some command problems so far (3.31 walks per nine).

Kelly has previously faced the Dodgers nine times in his career, including two starts this season where he has allowed 11 earned runs in just eight innings of work. Overall, he has posted a 5.89 ERA in 47.1 innings against the Dodgers.

Thanks to their red-hot hitting as of late, the Dodgers have re-claimed the MLB lead in offensive production with a 120 wRC+ and 250 runs scored. They have batted .254/.340/.429 as a team with 50 home runs while doing most of their damage against right-handers.

The Diamondbacks have been near the bottom of the pack offensively, ranking 22nd with a 91 wRC+ and 19th with just 182 runs scored, which is backed by their team slash line of .216/.299/.381.

Prior to the game the Dodgers selected the contract of Kevin Pillar and recalled Michael Grove from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Max Muncy was placed on the 10-day injured list due to left elbow inflammation, Tommy Kahnle was transferred to the 60-day IL and Ryan Pepiot was optioned as the corresponding roster moves.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
SS: Trea Turner
C: Will Smith
DH: Edwin Ríos
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux

Diamondbacks lineup

DH: Daulton Varsho
3B: Josh Rojas
2B: Ketel Marte
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jake McCarthy
CF: Alek Thomas
SS: Geraldo Perdomo
C: Jose Herrera

Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!