It’s familiarity all around at Dodger Stadium on Friday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers face Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers enter playing having lost nine consecutive regular season games to the Diamondbacks, getting outscored 57-21 in those contests.
Arizona’s dominant stretch dates back to last August and is built on three series sweeps. Though, Los Angeles did return the favor by sweeping the 2017 National League Division Series en route to winning their first pennant since 1988.
Greinke takes the mound 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA, 2.84 FIP and 1.31 WHIP through two starts this season. Greinke only allowed one run in his first outing but was touched up the St. Louis Cardinals for five runs on nine hits last week.
The right-hander does have 14 strikeouts against zero walks over his 10.2 innings pitched. Greinke hasn’t fared particularly well against the Dodgers since departing in free agency, as he sports a 4.46 ERA in seven starts.
Past success could be key for a Dodgers lineup that’s yet to gain much traction this season. Cody Bellinger is a career 3-for-9 with with a double and home run off Greinke, while Corey Seager is 6-for-11 with one double, two home runs and four RBI.
They’ll look to provide run support for Kenta Maeda, who makes his first start in 13 days. Maeda did keep busy by pitching in relief, throwing a scoreless inning against the San Francisco Giants on April 7.
His eight-year contract includes incentives that are tailored to a starting pitcher, though Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it’s not a factor he considers when determining how to best utilize Maeda. The 30-year-old expressed a willingness to pitch in whatever role is asked of him.
Maeda is 1-0 with 12 strikeouts against one walk in six shutout innings. He notched 10 strikeouts in his only other start this season. Paul Goldschmidt figures to pose a formidable threat to putting the first run(s) on Maeda’s ledger.
Beyond historically faring well against the Dodgers, Goldschmidt is a lifetime 6-for-25 with two doubles and three RBI when facing Maeda.
The Diamondbacks are atop the NL West at 9-3, and 4.5 games ahead of the Dodgers (4-7). The night’s matchup will be preceded by feel-good story Lakers guard Andre Ingram throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Matt Kemp
1B: Cody Bellinger
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
3B: Logan Forsythe
2B: Kiké Hernandez
P: Kenta Maeda
LF: David Peralta
2B: Ketel Marte
1B: Paul Godlschmidt
3B: Daniel Descalso
RF: Chris Owings
CF: Jarrod Dyson
SS: Nick Ahmed
C: Jeff Mathis
P: Zack Greinke