Remember that saying that “you can’t win them all”? Oscar had spoken about thinking up a catchy headline for Thursday evening’s recap with something along those lines before the Dodger’s beautifully timed four-run come from behind win in the bottom of the ninth inning against the dbacks in the series finale. The Dodgers are proving more and more every day that you can indeed win them all. I was at that game in stands and let tell you that it was an electrifying atmosphere during that ninth inning. It was incredible.
So the Dodgers will finish off the home stand and first half with a three game interleague series against the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are a club that has been playing hot baseball as well. The Royals have won seven of their last ten games and have a four game winning streak. K.C. is currently in second place in the AL Central with a 44-40 record. They are one game behind Cleveland and have a 20-21 record on the road. The Dodgers are now an MLB best 36-11 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are now 29 games above .500 and have a 5.5 game lead over the Snakes in the NL West.
Dodgers vs. Kansas City
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Royals:
Maeda P pic.twitter.com/tB95YF8Eym
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 8, 2017
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Game Time 7: 10 PM – SNLA-MLB.tv
The Royals will send Jason Hammel to the mound in the series opener. The 34-year old veteran has struggled since returning to the American League. Hammel has posted a 5.08 ERA and allowed 10.4 hits per nine innings. In 16 starts he’s given up 12 home runs and 102 hits in 88 innings pitched. He’s struck out 70 and walked 29 and posted a 4-7 record. Hammel has been equally bad on the road as he has been at home. On the road he’s posted a 5.20 ERA and at Kauffman Stadium he’s posted a 5.02 ERA. However he did enjoy a good month of June as he recorded a 3-0 mark with a 2.51 ERA in five June starts. That includes a 25 strikeout 4 walk line 32.1 innings of work.
In 14 career starts and 18 games against the Dodgers, he’s posted a 2-7 record with a 5.00 ERA. He’s 0-5 with a 5.35 ERA at Dodger Stadium. However he does have a 15-7 record with a 3.72 ERA in interleague play. Chase Utley is 6 for 12 (.500) with a home run, triple and four runs batted in against Hammel.
Hammel vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda. The Japanese right hander has struggled on and off throughout the season. In his last start he was unable to retire crappy San Diego bench players. That was truly pathetic. Before that pathetic performance he had actually been pitching better. Maeda had a 1.71 ERA and 25 strikeouts against just 4 walks in three June starts. Overall Maeda has a 6-4 record with a 4.56 ERA. He’s allowed 8.4 hits per nine innings and struck out 72 in 73 frames. Maeda is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 6 starts at Dodger Stadium this season. Maeda has a 4.29 ERA in 4 career interleague starts. He’s never faced the Royals.
In the second game the Dodgers will give the ball to Brandon McCarthy as he makes his return off the disabled list because of a sore knee. The Royals will counter with Ian Kennedy. The third game and first half finale will see southpaw Danny Duffy battle Clayton Kershaw.
According to Numberfire the Dodgers have the lowest chance of winning this opening game of the series. The Dodgers have a 59.8% chance of winning tonight. The second and third games see the Dodgers with a 66.32% and 62.48% chances of winning respectively.
You can watch tonight’s game on MLB.tv if you are out of market. Otherwise catch it on SNLA or the Dodger’s radio network. Oh and congratulations to Alex Wood for being named to National League all-star team. He’ll be replacing Kershaw, who is unable to pitch in the game because he’s starting against the Royals on Sunday.