The Los Angeles Dodgers become the final team this season to play a home game as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks for the start of a three-game series. Los Angeles is 29-25 in home openers at Dodger Stadium since 1962, and have won seven of the last eight.
What’s more, the Dodgers are 3-1 against the Diamondbacks in home openers; collecting a win in 1998, 1999 and 2010. The lone loss came in 2003. The Dodgers took 13 of 19 from the Diamondbacks last season, going 8-2 at home against Arizona.
Kenta Maeda makes his second career start in the Majors, and said he’s “honored” to be pitching in the Dodgers’ home opener. He joins Hideo Nomo as the lone Japanese natives to start for the Dodgers in a home opener.
Nomo did so in 1996 and 2004, and also started Opening Day on the road in 2003. Hiroki Kuroda started the 2009 season opener in San Diego. Maeda threw six shutout innings with four strikeouts against the San Diego Padres in his debut.
For good measure, he also hit the first home run of his career. The one home run has Maeda tied with Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig for the team lead through seven games.
Like Maeda, Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin also makes his second start of the year. He took a loss in his first outing, allowing four runs on eight hits over seven innings. The Colorado Rockies combined to tag Corbin for three home runs, though he also notched six strikeouts.
The 26 year old is a career 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in nine games (eight starts) against the Dodgers. Included in that is a 2-1 record, 3.74 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in four starts at Dodger Stadium. Corbin allowed four runs in 4.1 innings pitched in his lone outing at Chavez Ravine last season.
He faces a lineup that includes Howie Kendrick for the first time in 2016. Kendrick was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday morning. So too was Yasmani Grandal, though he’s not starting. Meanwhile, Scott Van Slyke (lower back irritation) was placed on the 15-day DL to clear room on the active roster for Grandal.
Corey Seager, who’s batting seventh, looks to extend his 10-game hitting streak. It dates back to Oct. 1, 2015 and is 10 games shy of the longest rookie hitting streak in Los Angeles franchise history, 20, which Tommy Davis set in 1960. Seager is 0-for-3 against Corbin.
Adrian Gonzalez, who bats third, is a lifetime 4-for-13 with one home run and three RBIs against the southpaw. Justin Turner has hit Corbin to the tune of 5-for-10 with three RBIs, though doesn’t have an extra-base hit.
Maeda will need to solve what’s been an impossible riddle for the Dodgers in Paul Goldschmidt. The Diamondbacks first baseman is a lifetime .340/.405/.622 batter in 76 games against the Dodgers, with 20 doubles, 21 home runs and 63 RBIs.
LF: Kiké Hernandez
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Justin Turner
2B: Howie Kendrick
CF: Trayce Thompson
SS: Corey Seager
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Kenta Maeda
2B: Jean Segura
CF: Socrates Brito
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
RF: David Peralta
C: Welington Castillo
3B: Jake Lamb
LF: Yasmany Tomas
P: Patrick Corbin
SS: Nick Ahmed