The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers conclude Players Weekend on Sunday with a rubber matchup to determine the series winner. While the Dodgers have all but wrapped up the National League West, the Brewers find themselves three games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second Wild Card spot in what should be a tight race over the next month of play.
With a victory on Sunday, the Dodgers will surpass last season’s club’s win total of 91 games with 33 contests still to be played. What’s more, they will also avoid their first series loss since June 5-7. The Dodgers are 19-0-3 since that time.
Returning from the 10-day disabled list and making his first career start against the Brewers is four-time All-Star Yu Darvish, who’s been superb since joining the Dodgers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
In four starts with the club, Darvish has pitched to a 2.50 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 18 innings, with 11 strikeouts per nine innings. For the season, the right-hander owns a 3.83 ERA and 3.99 FIP in 155 innings with 170 strikeouts to 49 walks.
The Dodgers placed Josh Fields on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to Aug. 25) with the same lower back strain injury that sidelined Darvish. He becomes the team’s 26th different player put on the DL this season. Manager Dave Roberts said he expects Fields to return once eligible.
Making his 27th start of the year for Milwaukee is Jimmy Nelson, who’s five days removed from an inefficient outing against the San Francisco Giants.
In five innings pitched, Nelson allowed three runs and 11 overall baserunners, with six strikeouts to three walks. On the season, Nelson has posted a solid 3.79 ERA and 3.14 FIP in 156.2 innings — striking out over 10 batters per nine innings.
Nelson has faced the Dodgers just once prior to Sunday — an outing in which he tossed eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. Adrian Gonzalez, who leads the Dodgers with 11 career at-bats against Nelson, has three hits (one double) and an RBI.
Recent Brewers acquisition Neil Walker is thriving with his new team, batting .371/.463/.514 with three extra-base hits in his last 41 trips to the plate.
CF: Chris Taylor (“CT3”)
SS: Corey Seager (“Seager”)
3B: Justin Turner (“RedTurn2”)
LF: Curtis Granderson (“GrandyMan”)
C: Yasmani Grandal (“YRG JR.”)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez (“El Titán”)
2B: Logan Forsythe (“Logie Bear”)
RF: Kiké Hernandez (“Kiké”)
P: Yu Darvish (“Yu-San”)
2B: Eric Sogard (“Nerd Power”)
LF: Hernan Perez (“Pan Blanco”)
1B: Neil Walker (“Walkie”)
3B: Travis Shaw (“Mayor of Ding Dong City”)
RF: Domingo Santana (“Showmingo”)
C: (“I Believe in”) Stephen Vogt
CF: Keon Broxton (“Fla Boy”)
SS: Orlando Arcia (“El Niño”)
P: Jimmy Nelson (“Big Sweat”)