Preview: Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout Take Center Stage As Dodgers & Angels Begin Freeway Series
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After taking two out of three against the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back in Southern California but technically remain on the road to face Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the opener of the Freeway Series at Angel Stadium.

Getting the start on the mound Monday night is Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been the best pitcher in all of baseball this season.

Ryu enters having won six straight starts, and overall in 12 outings this season he is 9-1 with a Major League-leading 1.35 ERA, National League-leading 0.78 WHIP and 2.53 FIP with 71 strikeouts and just five walks in 80 innings. He has given up runs in just one of 44.2 innings in his last six starts.

He has excelled against the Angels in three career starts against them, going 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 0.60 WHIP while striking out 19 and walking two in 21.2 innings.

Opposing Ryu is rookie right-hander Griffin Canning. The UCLA product is 2-2 with a 3.52 ERA, 4.27 FIP and 1.02 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and 10 walks in 38.1 innings across his first seven career Major League starts.

The 23-year-old has been better at the friendly confines of Angel Stadium, yielding a 3.22 ERA in four home starts compared to 3.94 in three starts on the road.

Two of the biggest challenges that the Angels lineup will present Ryu are, per usual, Mike Trout, and extremely surprisingly, Tommy La Stella.

Trout is having another MVP-caliber season, hitting .296/.469/.626 with 17 home runs, 50 runs scored and 42 RBI. He has been joined by Dodgers star Cody Bellinger for the ‘best player in baseball title.’ Bellinger has cooled off a bit as of late but is still slashing .355/.449/.693 with 20 home runs, 51 runs scored and 54 RBI.

La Stella went into the 2019 season with just 10 career home runs, but he is in the midst of a breakout season. The 30-year-old currently owns a .315/.371/.549 slashline with 15 home runs, 39 runs scored and 39 RBI. He has three home runs in his last five games.

Playing in an American League park gives the Dodgers the ability to utilize the designated hitter and Justin Turner will get that luxury on Monday night.

Turner comes in swinging a hot bat, hitting .429/.474/.531 in his last 14 games, but he has been dealing with a minor hamstring issue as of late so getting a chance to be a designated hitter should help keep him off his feet.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Joc Pederson
3B: Max Muncy
DH: Justin Turner
RF: Cody Bellinger
SS: Corey Seager
CF: Alex Verdugo
C: Russell Martin
2B: Chris Taylor
1B: Kiké Hernandez

Angels lineup:

3B: Tommy La Stella
CF: Mike Trout
1B: Albert Pujols
DH: Kevin Smith
RF: Kole Calhoun
LF: Cesar Peullo
C: Jonathan Lucroy
SS: Wilfredo Tovar
2B: Luis Rengifo