Preview: Chris Taylor Bats Leadoff, Clayton Kershaw Looks To Give Dodgers First Road Series Win
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The best the Los Angeles Dodgers have done in any road series this season is earn a split. They’re in position to earn their first road series win Saturday night, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound against the San Diego Padres.

The start against the Padres is Kershaw’s second in 2017. He held them to two runs (one earned) on two hits, and had eight strikeouts over seven innings. Kershaw in his career against the Padres is 15-6 with a 2.03 ERA.

He’s held San Diego batters to a .191/.259/.288 slashline, while recording 206 strikeouts and 63 walks. Kershaw is 5-2 with 1.92 ERA in 11 career starts at Petco Park, with Los Angeles going 8-3 in those games.

Overall this season, the three-time Cy Young Award winner is 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 0.87 WHIP in six starts.

The Padres hope to exploit the ongoing southpaw narrative against the Dodgers, with Clayton Richard on the mound. Richard faces Los Angeles for a second time this season.

Five of Richard’s six starts thus far have been against the National League West, including a dominant outing at Dodger Stadium on April 4. He turned in eight scoreless innings, with the Dodgers mustering just five hits and two walks.

In 20 career appearances (18 starts) against the Dodgers, Richard is 7-4 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The nine-year veteran has spent the majority of his career with the Padres, making 57 career starts at Petco Park. In those outings, the southpaw is 24-20 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

Richard has been truly effective with inducing ground balls, with a 64 percent ground-ball rate that ranks second in the Majors. However, the 33-year-old has had his share of struggles this season, allowing at least four runs in three outings. Richard enters 2-3 with a 4.29 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 4.58 FIP and 97 ERA+.

Franklin Gutierrez is 9-for-18 in his career against Richard, with a double, one home run and two RBIs. Puig is 3-for-9, with a double and home run, while Justin Turner is 4-for-10 off the southpaw.

Chris Taylor, who is batting .375/.474/.625 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 14 games with the Dodgers, starts at second base and bats leadoff. The start is the second of Taylor’s career in the leadoff spot.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Franklin Gutierrez
1B: Cody Bellinger
CF: Kiké Hernandez
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Austin Barnes
P: Clayton Kershaw

Padres lineup:

CF: Manuel Margot
3B: Cory Spangenberg
1B: Wil Myers
2B: Yangervis Solarte
C: Austin Hedges
RF: Hunter Renfroe
LF: Jabari Blash
SS: Luis Sardinas
P: Clayton Richard