Fresh off a series win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, the Los Angeles Dodgers return to Dodger Stadium for 10 games, beginning with a four-game set against the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers are a modest 5-4 against their National League West rival this season. They continue reigning supreme in the division, boasting a 71-39 record and 15-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants.
The Padres, on the other hand, are only one game separated from the last-place Rockies with a 50-57 record. They trail the Dodgers by a stunning 19.5 games in the standings.
Clayton Kershaw makes his 19th start of the season and looks to replicate the success he enjoyed in his last outing against the Washington Nationals. In six innings of work, the three-time Cy Young Award allowed only two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts.
It was Kershaw’s fourth consecutive quality start and third since the start of the second half. He was particularly dominant during the month of July, going 2-0 with a minuscule 1.44 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 25 innings pitched.
Kershaw enters with an overall 9-2 record on the season, having pitched to a 2.85 ERA, 3.37 FIP and 1.02 WHIP in 117 innings. The Dodgers are 14-4 when he takes the mound this year, and an even better 9-1 when Kershaw starts at Dodger Stadium.
The 31-year-old has additionally thrived against the Padres this season, compiling a 1-0 record, 3.15 ERA and 0.95 WHIP with 20 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched (two games). For his career against San Diego, Kershaw is 19-6 with a 2.00 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 242.2 frames (37 starts).
The Padres counter with fellow lefty Joey Lucchesi and hopes to capitalize on an excellent start against the San Francisco Giants. In six innings pitched, he yielded only one run on two hits while accumulating eight strikeouts.
The 28-year-old carries with him a 7-5 record, 4.12 ERA, 3.90 FIP and 1.18 WHIP into Thursday’s start against the Dodgers. He has faced Los Angeles on two occasions this season, going 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 11.1 innings of work.
Lucchesi has overall struggled against the Dodgers since entering the league in 2018. In five career starts, he is 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 24 innings pitched.
CF: A.J. Pollock
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
RF: Cody Bellinger
1B: Tyler White
C: Will Smith
LF: Alex Verdugo
SS: Kristopher Negrón
P: Clayton Kershaw