After squandering early leads in each of the past two contests, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to redeem themselves in the third of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Despite being mired in a two-game losing streak, the Dodgers still pace the National League with an 88-49 record and trail the New York Yankees and Houston Astros by only a half-game for the Majors’ best overall showing.
With a win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday, the Dodgers will further trim their magic number to just seven games in order to clinch a seventh consecutive NL West title.
Hoping to guide them there is Clayton Kershaw, who makes his 24th start of the season. The left-hander is coming off a generally solid outing against the Yankees in which he struck out a season-high 12 batters without issuing a walk.
Kershaw additionally allowed just four hits, but a trio of them sailed over the fence — the second consecutive start in which he yielded least three home runs.
The 31-year-old enters with a 13-3 record (NL-best .813 winning percentage), 2.76 ERA, 3.58 FIP and 1.00 WHIP in 150 innings pitched this season. He has logged at least six innings in all 23 of his starts while yielding three runs or less on 21 occasions.
Furthermore, Kershaw has turned in nine consecutive quality starts. Over the course of his illustrious career against the Diamondbacks, he owns a 16-9 record, 2.69 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 222 strikeouts against 55 walks in 200.2 innings pitched (32 starts).
In his lone outing against Arizona this season back on June 24, Kershaw allowed eight baserunners and four runs over six innings of work, recording a season-low two strikeouts.
The Diamondbacks counter with Robbie Ray, who looks to build off a successful start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He tossed five shutout innings against the reigning NL Central champions at Miller Park, yielding just three hits while tallying six strikeouts.
In 27 starts this season, Ray has compiled an 11-7 record, 3.86 ERA, 4.06 FIP and 1.29 WHIP with 193 strikeouts compared to 67 walks over 147 innings pitched.
Saturday marks Ray’s fifth start against the Dodgers this season. In four previous outings, he has pitched to an 0-2 record, 4.07 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 34 strikeouts and 12 walks across 24.1 innings.
In 19 career starts against L.A., Ray has accumulated a 7-5 record, 2.97 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 12.1 strikeouts per nine over 115 innings of work.
CF: A.J. Pollock
3B: Justin Turner
2B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Will Smith
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Chris Taylor
1B: Jedd Gyorko
RF: Kristopher Negrón
P: Clayton Kershaw
CF: Tim Locastro
SS: Nick Ahmed
3B: Eduardo Escobar
1B: Christian Walker
2B: Wilmer Flores
RF: Adam Jones
LF: Josh Rojas
C: Carson Kelly
P: Robbie Ray