Preview: Former Teammates Ross Stripling, Michael Wacha Duel In Cardinals-Dodgers Series Opener
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers split their four-game set with the New York Mets behind a spectacular performance from Clayton Kershaw in the series finale. As a part of this nine-game homestand, the Dodgers now open up a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Friday’s matchup pits former Texas A&M teammates Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha against one another. For Stripling, it’s the seventh start of the season (and career). He enters 0-2 with a 3.82 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 1.18 WHIP.

Although Stripling is winless, the Dodgers are 3-3 in games he’s started. Stripling is coming off his best outing since his debut. Against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Stripling allowed one run on one hit, and had six strikeouts over six strong innings pitched of a no-decision.

Wacha enters 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA, 3.58 FIP and 1.27 WHIP over seven starts. He’s allowed at least two runs in each of his past four starts, and has suffered a loss in his last three decisions.

Wacha is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 12.1 innings pitched over two regular-season starts against the Dodgers. He’s given up one home run, walked three batters and collected 12 strikeouts in those outings.

However, Wacha spun 13.2 innings and had 13 strikeouts over two starts against the Dodgers in the 2013 National League Championship Series, going 2-0 en route to being named NLCS MVP.

Stripling and Wacha engaged in some friendly trash talking in the time leading up to Friday’s game. Wacha and Stripling were also in communication prior to the rookie’s Major League debut this season, with the Cardinals’ righty providing his old roommate with words of encouragement.

The roulette wheel in left field lands on Trayce Thompson’s name, with A.J. Ellis getting the nod behind the plate after Yasmani Grandal started the past three games. Yasiel Puig, who is a career 0-for-5 with four strikeouts against Wacha, bats fifth.

Howie Kendrick starts in place of Chase Utley and hits leadoff. Kendrick is 1-for-9 with one strikeout on the homestand thus far. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said his lineup is heavy on right-handed batters given Wacha’s career reverse-splits.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
CF: Joc Pederson
LF: Trayce Thompson
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Ross Stripling

Cardinals lineup:

3B: Matt Carpenter
RF: Stephen Piscotty
LF: Matt Holliday
1B: Matt Adams
C: Yadier Molina
CF: Randal Grichuk
2B: Kolten Wong
SS: Aledmys Diaz
P: Michael Wacha