Preview: Dodgers, Diamondbacks Begin NL West Showdown At Dodger Stadium
Dodgers, Dodger Stadium
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

One week ago a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks was taking shape to be a make-or-break point in the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, they enter play Thursday in position to pull even atop the National League West standings.


The Dodgers head into the showdown coming off back-to-back series sweeps and on a season-high tying five-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks are a pedestrian 5-5 in their last 10 games.

Arizona avoided being swept by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night in a series that saw them go scoreless for 25 innings. They’ll look to provide run support for Robbie Ray, who faces the Dodgers for the first time this season.

Overall in 2018, Ray is 3-2 with a 4.73 ERA, 4.66 FIP and 1.45 WHIP in 17 starts. The southpaw was dominant against Los Angeles last season, going 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 31.2 innings pitched across five starts.

Though, they did get the better of Ray in Game 2 of the 2017 NL Division Series, as he collected six strikeouts but struggled with command and allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in just 4.1 innings at Dodger Stadium.

Ray is coming off a start in which he held the Seattle Mariners to one run in five innings of a no-decision. Ray had seven strikeouts in that outing, and has collected at least six punchouts in 14 starts this season.

The Dodgers counter in the series opener with a lefty of their own in Rich Hill. He was dominant against the San Diego Padres his last time out, striking out eight over six scoreless innings.

Hill has struggled in his two starts against Arizona this season, allowing a combined 12 runs on 14 hits (five home runs) in nine innings pitched. However, those outings came back-to-back (April 14 and May 80), albeit with a stint on the 10-day disabled list sandwiched between them.

Hill has been a much different pitcher since setting a season high with 10 strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies on June 29. Over 11 games (10 starts) during that span, he’s gone 5-2 with a 2.47 ERA and held opponents to a .202/.275/.345 batting line.

The Diamondbacks have won eight of 12 head-to-head meetings with the Dodgers this season. However, the teams have not played since May 9 when they split a two-game set at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Brian Dozier
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Manny Machado
LF: Matt Kemp
1B: Kiké Hernandez
CF: Chris Taylor
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Austin Barnes
P: Rich Hill

Diamondbacks lineup:

RF: Steven Souza Jr.
CF: A.J. Pollock
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
LF: David Peralta
3B: Eduardo Escobar
SS: Nick Ahmed
2B: Ketel Marte
C: John Ryan Murphy
P: Robbie Ray