Preview: Dodgers Can Overtake Astros For Best Record In Majors
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers look for their National League-best 60th win of the season on Saturday as they take on the Kansas City Royals in the second of a three-game series. A victory would also push the Dodgers ahead of the Houston Astros for the best record in the Majors.

On the mound for the Dodgers is Brandon McCarthy, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to first pitch. Scott Van Slyke was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City to create room for McCarthy’s return.

In his last start against the Colorado Rockies, McCarthy allowed five runs (four earned) in three innings, with a pair of strikeouts. He also threw three wild pitches, which led to speculation — that was dismissed — last season’s yips returned.

Prior to that outing, McCarthy had allowed just six runs over his last 34.1 innings pitched (1.57 ERA). In his career against the Royals, the right-hander owns a 3-2 record with a 4.05 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 46.2 innings.

For the year, McCarthy has pitched to a solid 3.25 ERA and 3.22 FIP in 72 innings and is limiting home runs at an all-time low (0.5 home runs per nine innings).

Making his 16th start of the season for Kansas City is Ian Kennedy, who the Dodgers are all-too-familiar with from his previous stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres.

Over his career against Los Angeles, Kennedy has posted a 4.31 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 121 innings (20 starts) with 101 strikeouts to 37 walks.

In his last outing against the Seattle Mariners, Kennedy allowed one run and four hits in 6.2 innings, while collecting seven strikeouts. Kennedy has won two consecutive decisions and hasn’t been tabbed with a loss since June 5.

He’s sporting a 4.44 ERA and 5.36 FIP in 81 innings this year, though he’s only allowed 59 hits (6.6 hits per nine).

Chatsworth native and American League Final Vote winner Mike Moustakas has slugged .733 over the last two weeks (160 wRC+) with six home runs and eight runs batted in. Moustakas enters play with a 10-game hitting streak, while Eric Hosmer has hit safely in 13 games, and Salvador Perez in seven games.

Chase Utley recorded his 1,000th career RBI with a run-scoring double in Friday’s contest, becoming just the ninth-active player to achieve that mark, and is batting leadoff in the second game of the series with the Royals.

Since joining the Dodgers in August 2015, Utley has posted a .707 on-base plus slugging percentage, with 22 home runs and 84 RBI in 929 plate appearances.

Justin Turner is back in the Dodgers lineup after a scheduled night off. Turner is batting .380/.477/.566 this season, and has improved on that since returning from the disabled list. In 24 games (22 starts) over that stretch, he’s hitting .383/.515/.691.

Turner is a lifetime 8-for-16 off Kennedy, with four doubles and three RBI.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Joc Pederson
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
P: Brandon McCarthy

Royals lineup:

2B: Whit Merrifield
RF: Jorge Bonifacio
CF: Lorenzo Cain
1B: Eric Hosmer
C: Salvador Perez
3B: Mike Moustakas
SS: Alcides Escobar
LF: Alex Gordon
P: Ian Kennedy