Coming off a series win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ road trip continues in the opener of a rare two-game Interleague matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
The Dodgers, having won seven of their last 10 games, continue to pace the National League with a 31-17 record. The club additionally boasts a six-game lead over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
The Rays, after a recent 5-5 skid, have fallen to second place in the American League East behind the New York Yankees. The club, at 27-17, still holds the fourth-best record in the AL.
Clayton Kershaw makes his seventh start of the season and the first of his career at Tropicana Field. He enters with a perfect 3-0 record, 3.40 ERA, 4.10 FIP and 0.96 WHIP in 39.2 innings pitched on the year. The Dodgers have won each of his last 19 regular-season starts dating back to last season.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner has faced the Rays just one previous time in his career. In a 2013 outing at Dodger Stadium, he allowed three hits and two runs (one earned) over eight innings pitched with eight strikeouts.
The Rays counter with right-hander Hunter Wood, who is the opener in Tuesday’s contest. In five appearances (one start) this season, he is 1-0 and has yet to allow a run over 7.1 innings of games.
Wood is making his first career appearance against the Dodgers. At Tropicana Field, he owns a 2.93 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 27.2 career innings. That’s in comparison to a 3.43 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 21 career innings on the road.
With Tampa Bay opting to start Wood — a reliever by trade — the Dodgers lineup looks noticeably different. Matt Beaty, the club’s designated hitter, is in the leadoff spot. A presumed reason for that is that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts can then play matchups depending on who the Rays go to after Wood.
Former Dodgers catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who accumulated just one plate appearance with the club before being traded to the Rays last week, bats fifth and starts behind the plate. He has just one hit in 16 at-bats since being traded to Tampa Bay.
DH: Matt Beaty
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
RF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Kiké Hernandez
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Alex Verdugo
C: Austin Barnes
DH: Austin Meadows
LF: Tommy Pham
1B: Ji-Man Choi
RF: Avisail Garcia
C: Travis d’Arnaud
2B: Brandon Lowe
3B: Daniel Robertson
CF: Guillermo Heredia
SS: Willy Adames