The Los Angeles Dodgers were stymied by Jacob deGrom in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday, but they still have a shot to win the series against the New York Mets.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in his return from a stint on the 15-day injured list as he dealt with some back discomfort. He began a throwing program in mid-August and he is now poised to take over his spot in the rotation after multiple successful simulated games.
Kershaw last took the mound on Aug. 4 against the San Francisco Giants, and unfortunately, he faces a tough task against a fourth-ranked Mets offense. He has made 15 starts so far this season, carrying a 7-3 record with a 2.64 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and a 2.72 FIP.
However, in his three starts leading up to his stay on the IL, Kershaw only managed 13.2 innings pitched while allowing eight earned runs on 16 hits. But in his other 12 starts prior to the All-Star Break, Kershaw posted a 2.13 ERA, a WHIP of 0.91, and a 2.48 FIP.
He faces a Mets offense that ranks middle of the pack against left-handers this season and comes into Thursday with a collective 104 wRC+.
The Mets counter with Chris Bassitt, who has been very solid this season, carrying an 11-7 record, a 3.34 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and a 3.53 FIP over 24 starts.
The 33-year-old last faced the Dodgers on June 3, going six innings in a losing effort while allowing three earned runs on two home runs. Fortunately for L.A., Bassitt ranks in the 21st percentile in chase rate and 43rd percentile in whiff rate, two categories that tend to give the Dodgers trouble.
Scoring has been at a premium in the first two games of the series, and the Dodgers have to find a way to get on the board early. Trea Turner has been held hitless thus far in New York, and with Mookie Betts continuing his hot streak, the big three at the top of the order must find a way to lead the offense against another top playoff contender.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: Justin Turner
2B: Gavin Lux
CF: Trayce Thompson
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Brandon Nimmo
RF: Starling Marte
SS: Francisco Lindor
1B: Pete Alonso
DH: Darin Ruf
LF: Mark Canha
2B: Jeff McNeil
3B: Eduardo Escobar
C: James McCann
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!