After getting swept at Dodger Stadium by the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers now travel south to face the Los Angeles Angels in the start of the Freeway Series.
The Dodgers are 5-10 in June and have been outscored 70-85 in those games. They additionally are in unfamiliar territory, currently in third place in the National League West standings. The Dodgers haven’t found themselves third in the division this late into a season since 2018.
The Dodgers face an Angels team that is playing playing their best baseball of the season. Anaheim is 11-5 this month and find themselves in second place in the American League West. For the first time since 2014, the Angels have a better record than the Dodgers at the start of the Freeway Series.
While the matchup may be considered a fun rivalry for those who live in Southern California, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is more concerned with getting his team back on track.
“Regardless of who we’re playing, we’ve got to try to win,” said Roberts. “As far as the rivalry, I honestly don’t know how they’re playing right now. I know they’ve got a lot of good players. It’s always good to go there and play.
“There’s a mixed support group of Angels fans and Dodgers fans making the trek South, so it’s always lively. It will be fun, but it will be more fun if we’re playing better baseball.”
Roberts added he believes the Freeway Series is largely only a rivalry in the sense of the teams’ proximity to each other.
“I think it’s more just geography driven,” Roberts noted. “I think it’s a thing in the sense of Southern California and local Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles and Orange County, but being in different leagues, obviously not the same division. But I enjoy going down there and playing the Angels, certainly.”
Clayton Kershaw looks to stop the bleeding as he takes the mound with an 8-4 record to go along with a 2.95 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Unsurprisingly, Kershaw has posted good career numbers against the Angels, against whom he’s a career 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 101.1 innings pitched.
The Angels send out Reid Detmers, whose 1-5 record belies his recent success. Detmers owns a 4.48 ERA but over his last two starts, he has given up just two earned runs across 11.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts.
Chris Taylor remains out of the Dodgers lineup, which gives Michael Busch an opportunity to start at third base despite the Angels having a lefty on the mound.
Taylor fielded some ground balls during an early workout with Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel.
RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
DH: J.D. Martinez
2B: Miguel Vargas
LF: Jonny DeLuca
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas
3B: Michael Busch
LF: Taylor Ward
DH: Shohei Ohtani
CF: Mike Trout
2B: Brandon Drury
RF: Hunter Renfroe
1B: Kevin Padlo
C: Chad Wallahc
3B: Luis Rengifo
SS: Andrew Velazquez
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