Fresh off an impressive series win against the Washington Nationals, the Los Angeles Dodgers have reached the final stop on their nine-game road trip as they open a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Just as they were while the Dodgers were in the Nation’s Capitol, temperatures at Busch Stadium throughout the weekend are expected to hover around triple digits. Los Angeles arrives with multiple hitters who are enjoying their own hot streaks.
Howie Kendrick enters play Friday night with a Major League-leading 13-game hitting streak. He’s batting .431 (22-for-51) with six doubles, one home run and six RBIs since July 4. Kendrick has swung the bat particularly well this month, hitting .403/.479/.581 with eight doubles, one home run and seven RBIs over 16 July games.
His batting average for the month leads the Majors and he’s tied for first in doubles. Kendrick is 3-for-5 lifetime with two RBIs in his career against Michael Wacha.
Meanwhile, Justin Turner tied a career high with five RBIs on Thursday, and slugged two homers to give him a career-high 17 home runs on the season. He’s 10-for-25 (.400) with one double, four home runs and 11 RBIs since the All-Star break.
In a broader scope, Turner is batting .333/.386/.689 with nine doubles, 13 home runs and 35 RBIs in his last 35 games (33 starts) since June 10. The Dodgers’ red-hot third baseman is a career 3-for-8 with one RBI off Wacha.
As for the pitching matchup, Brandon McCarthy makes his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. He turned in a quality start in his previous outing, tossing six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, but didn’t factor into the decision.
McCarthy was removed despite only throwing 77 pitches and said after the outing he hoped to pitch deeper into games. Overall this season the 33-year-old is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, 1.96 FIP, 0.75 WHIP and 22 strikeouts over 16 innings.
McCarthy sports an impressive 38 percent strikeout rate, which would easily set a new career high. He’s twice faced the Cardinals in his career, including one start at Busch Stadium in 2014.
He’s yet to earn a decision, owns a 5.73 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over the two outings. He fared better in the road start, allowing just one run in six innings. As for Wacha, he’s coming off his shortest outing of the season.
He managed to complete just four innings against the Miami Marlins and allowed three runs on seven hits. Wacha suffered a loss when he faced the Dodgers on May 13, as he allowed six runs (two earned) on eight hits over four innings.
On the season the 25-year-old is 5-7 with a 4.45 ERA, 3.64 FIP and 1.42 WHIP. The Cardinals are in the midst of a four-game winning streak and have won five of seven since the All-Star break. They lost two of three to the Dodgers during a series at Dodger Stadium in mid-May.
Matt Holliday is in Friday’s lineup despite taking an Andrew Cashner fastball across the brim of his nose the night prior.
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Howie Kendrick
C: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Joc Pederson
RF: Scott Van Slyke
P: Brandon McCarthy
CF: Tommy Pham
SS: Aledmys Diaz
RF: Stephen Piscotty
LF: Matt Holliday
1B: Matt Adams
C: Yadier Molina
3B: Jedd Gyorko
2B: Kolten Wong
P: Michael Wacha