Everything seems to be going right for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their offense, boasting new addition Manny Machado, has scored 18 runs over their past two games. Their bullpen is starting to take shape thanks to pitchers like Scott Alexander, who has not allowed a run in July. Even their starting pitching is rounding into form, thanks in no small part to Kenta Maeda.
Maeda takes the ball Tuesday as the Dodgers try to take the series against the Philadelphia Phillies. It would mark the team’s fourth straight series win, extending a streak that goes back to before the All-Star break.
Maeda is on a hot streak of his own. After disabled list trip in early June followed by a couple ugly starts against the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs, Maeda has looked like the best pitcher in the Dodgers’ rotation.
He faced the Cubs again on June 25, throwing seven shutout innings against their powerful lineup. From that night on, Maeda has allowed just four earned runs over 25.2 innings with 37 strikeouts compared to six walks.
He has not had great success against the Phillies in his career. In five career starts against them, Maeda has a 4.37 ERA over 26.2 innings with six home runs allowed. He only lasted 1.2 innings in his last start against the Phillies, giving up two runs before being removed due to injury.
Overall on the season, Maeda is 7-5 with a 3.12 ERA, 2.78 FIP and 1.22 WHIP in 18 games (16 starts) while striking out 108 and walking 32 in 86.2 innings.
Aaron Nola takes the mound for the Phillies, and he might be as good a bet as anyone to cool the Dodgers’ hot bats. The 25-year-old ace just earned his first All-Star nod, and deservedly so.
Nola has a 12-3 record with a 2.30 ERA, 2.61 FIP and 0.98 WHIP in 20 starts this season. One of those starts came against the Dodgers on May 31, and he was dominant. Nola allowed just one run on two hits that night while striking out seven over seven innings.
However, that was before the Dodgers traded for Machado. L.A.’s newest star has yet to go hitless in a game since the trade. Machado’s clutch seventh-inning triple helped turn the tide against the Phillies Monday as he later scored the tying run in an eventual 7-5 Dodgers win.
Overall, he is 6-for-20 since joining the Dodgers with a double, a triple and two runs scored.
Alex Verdugo gets the start in right field against Nola for the Dodgers with Matt Kemp getting a day off. The Dodgers top prospect, who was called up before Monday night’s game, made a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning and wound up drawing a walk and scoring the go-ahead run.
LF: Joc Pederson
3B: Manny Machado
1B: Max Muncy
C: Yasmani Grandal
SS: Chris Taylor
CF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Kiké Hernández
RF: Alex Verdugo
P: Kenta Maeda
2B: Cesar Hernandez
LF: Rhys Hoskins
CF: Odubel Herrera
1B: Carlos Santana
3B: Maikel Franco
RF: Nick Williams
SS: Jesmuel Valentin
C: Jorge Alfaro
P: Aaron Nola
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