The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome the New York Yankees to Dodger Stadium to rekindle their historic rivalry in the first matchup between the two teams since 2019 Players Weekend.
With 82 total meetings between the two clubs, the Dodgers and Yankees remain one of the most well-known pairings in Major League Baseball history. Dating back to 1941, they’ve battled it out in the World Series 11 times.
In the regular season, they are deadlocked at 8-8 in series against one another. The Yankees won two of three during their most-recent meeting in 2019.
Entering play on Friday, the Dodgers are tied for first in the National League with the Arizona Diamondbacks at a 34-23 record. Meanwhile, the Yankees sit in third in the American League East at 34-24.
“It’s great. I think it’s great for sports, it’s great for baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of facing the Yankees.
“Two great, storied franchises. It’s not going to lack for star power this weekend on the field and in the stands. I know our guys are excited. It’s one series, but I do think the anticipation, the star power, there’s something special about this weekend.”
Clayton Kershaw gets the ball in the first of three with the Yankees, hoping to recreate the same success he had in their 2019 matchup, when he tossed seven innings, allowing three runs while striking out 12.
Four years later and the surefire Hall of Famer is continuing his solid stretch of productive starts. Though, Kershaw has battled some inconsistency and short starts since being named NL Pitcher of the Month of April. On the season, the lefty is 6-4 with a 3.32 ERA, 3.41 FIP and a 1.14 WHIP.
Through his first eight starts, Kershaw held a 2.36 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and minuscule .203 batting average allowed. But in his last three starts since, Kershaw owns a 7.11 ERA in just 12.2 innings pitched.
However, Kershaw’s ERA during the rough stretch isn’t truly indicative of his performance, which has been accompanied by a 2.91 FIP.
Kershaw face a Yankees lineup stacked with right-handed hitters, headlined by Aaron Judge, who’s off to another blistering start. In addition to Judge and his 18 home runs, the Yankees have Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton back as both were activated off the injured list prior to the game.
So too was Tommy Kahnle in his first time facing the Dodgers since signing with the Yankees during the offseason.
As a team the Yankees have posted a 103 wRC+ against left-handers this season despite a .223 batting average that is third-lowest in baseball. They’ve large struggled against sliders, making for a good matchup if Kershaw is able to find a groove with his primary pitch.
Kershaw is opposed by Luis Severino, who missed over a month with a right lat strain. The right-hander owns a 1.59 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and has tallied 10 strikeouts through two starts.
Leaning on a upper-90s four-seam fastball, he’s yielded a .125 batting average against on the pitch, while mixing in a slider and plus-changeup. Severino stymied the San Diego Padres in his last outing, allowing just one earned run on one hit through 6.2 innings.
The Dodgers have Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez to lean on, both of whom have made their mark on the offense during the month of May.
Freeman, set the Dodgers franchise record for most extra-base hits (24) and doubles (17) in a calendar month and has hit safely in 20 straight. Meanwhile, Martinez is riding a 15-game hitting streak, which includes four doubles, five homers and 14 RBI.
RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: J.D. Martinez
LF: Jason Heyward
2B: Miguel Vargas
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas
2B: Gleyber Torres
RF: Aaron Judge
1B: Anthony Rizzo
DH: Giancarlo Stanton
3B: Josh Donaldson
LF: Isiah Kiner-Falefa
SS: Anthony Volpe
C: Jose Trevino
CF: Greg Allen
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