Coming out of the All-Star break the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves 6.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West, but also holding a 2.5 game lead for the first the NL Wild Card spot.
After playing through the injury-riddled first half, manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers now begin the second half push with a three-game set at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Taking the mound for the Dodgers in the opener is recently-acquired Bud Norris. During his previous start, the 31-year-old faced off against his former club and came away with a no-decision.
In a start at Dodger Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles, Norris allowed three runs on six hits and issued two walks over five innings pitched. Baltimore went on to beat Los Angeles in 14 innings.
Norris has made five starts and three relief appearances against the Diamondbacks in his career without managing to record a victory. In those outings he’s 0-7 with a 13.92 ERA and 2.72 WHIP. His last five appearances have lasted a total of 10.2 innings and resulted in five losses.
Norris allowed one run in one inning of a relief appearance against the Diamondbacks this season while he was still a member of the Atlanta Braves. Overall this season he’s 4-7 with a 3.98 ERA and 3.75 WHIP, but sports a 2.45 ERA over two starts since being traded to the Dodgers.
He’s backed by a bullpen that owns a 2.83 ERA that ranks first in the Majors. Dodgers relievers presumably benefitted well from the time off as their usage skyrocketed in recent weeks. Patrick Corbin faces the Dodgers a 12th time (11th start) in his career, and for the third time this season.
The southpaw is 3-5 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in games against the Dodgers, including an 0-1 mark and 2.92 ERA in 2016. He’s completed at least six innings of work in both starts this season.
Corbin enters 4-7 with a 4.94 ERA, 5.22 FIP and 1.48 WHIP. Howie Kendrick is a career 4-for-9 off Corbin with two RBIs. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez has also had success against the lefty, going 5-for-18 with one home run and three RBIs.
What’s more, Gonzalez is a .326/.404/.606 lifetime batter at Chase Field. Scott Van Slyke starts in center field in place of Trayce Thompson, who is dealing with low back irritation that may require a stint on the disabled list.
LF: Howie Kendrick
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
CF: Scott Van Slyke
C: Yasmani Grandal
2B: Chris Taylor
P: Bud Norris
2B: Jean Segura
CF: Michael Bourn
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
3B: Jake Lamb
C: Welington Castillo
LF: Chris Herrmann
RF: Yasmany Tomas
P: Patrick Corbin
SS: Nick Ahmed