The Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers with Adrian Gonzalez starting at first base in his return from the 60-day disabled list. Los Angeles went 48-7 while Gonzalez was sidelined a second time this season because of bulging discs in his back.
The weekend series is the Dodgers’ final time playing in an American League ballpark during the regular season. Thus, they’re afforded the luxury of having Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Chris Taylor in the lineup, even with Gonzalez starting.
Predictably, Bellinger is manning left field, which puts Taylor at shortstop and Seager as the designated hitter. Taylor figures to be the player who rotates in games the Dodgers have both Bellinger and Gonzalez in the lineup.
The start at shortstop is his first since June 28. Taylor had exclusively made starts in left field and center field since that point.
Rich Hill, a University of Michigan product, takes the mound for his eighth career game but only second start at Comerica Park. He last pitched there with the Oakland Athletics in 2016, throwing seven shutout innings. Hill went 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two overall starts against the Tigers last season.
He’s unbeaten in seven outings since July 1, going 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, while holding opponents to a .195 batting average. On the year, Hill is 8-4 with a 3.44 ERA, 3.97 FIP and 1.20 WHIP in 17 starts.
Miguel Cabrera is a lifetime 4-for-9 off the 37-year-old, with one double, one home run, two RBI and four strikeouts. Victor Martinez is 4-for-11 with one RBI.
The Tigers counter with Jordan Zimmermann, who went 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA in eight starts against the Dodgers during his Washington Nationals Tenure. Justin Turner is 4-for-7 with a double and home run off the veteran.
Chase Utley is 6-for-25 with four walks, though isn’t in the Dodgers lineup. Zimmermann is 7-9 this season, with a 5.62 ERA, 5.46 FIP and 1.49 WHIP in 23 starts. He’s allowed a combined three home runs in the past two games, and nine in his last 10 starts.
Zimmermann is coming off a rough outing in which he allowed seven runs on eight hits in just 3.1 innings of work. The Tigers will need a stronger effort if they’re to snap a four-game losing skid and improve on a 5-9 record against the National League.
Conversely, the Dodgers are on a four-game winning streak, enter 14-3 in Interleague play, have won 19 of their last 22 games and 50 of 59 since June 7. What’s more, they have not dropped a series since losing two of three to the Nationals from June 5-7, going 17-0-3 in that span.
The prolific level of the Dodgers’ success earned praise from Tigers outfielders Alex Presley and Justin Upton.
SS: Chris Taylor
DH: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Cody Bellinger
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Logan Forsythe
CF: Joc Pederson
2B: Ian Kinsler
CF: Mikie Mahtook
LF: Justin Upton
1B: Miguel Cabrera
3B: Nicholas Castellanos
DH: Victor Martinez
C: James McCann
RF: Alex Presley
SS : Jose Iglesias