Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Baseball Preview and Free Picks
Preview, Prediction and Picks
When the Los Angeles Dodgers changed their pitching plan for Thursday's home series finale, the Arizona Diamondbacks finally made a rotation decision that was not last minute.
Instead of using right-hander Trevor Bauer on Thursday against the Diamondbacks as previously planned, the Dodgers will host a day of paddock for the second time in five games. The plan wasn't good enough Sunday in a 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Instead, Bauer will pitch a series opener on the road on Friday against the San Francisco Giants, who have the best record in baseball.
After waiting until before the game to reveal his starter in each of the last two games, the Diamondbacks have announced that right-hander Merrill Kelly (2-4, 5.24 ERA) will start Thursday. Kelly started May 13 against the Miami Marlins, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings in a possible 5-1 loss.
Kelly will look to help the Diamondbacks avoid the sweep after the Dodgers posted a 4-2 victory Wednesday with three runs in the seventh inning. Arizona's only points came off a two-run home run by Eduardo Escobar.
The Dodgers needed three innings from their relievers Wednesday before a box game. Joe Kelly, Victor Gonzalez and Kenley Jansen each pitched one inning after Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs and two hits with eight strikeouts in the first six innings.
The Dodgers have lost both of their outfield games this season, losing 3-1 on April 30 in Milwaukee and again on Sunday. Right-hander Edwin Uceta (two innings) started the game on April 30, while Jimmy Nelson (1 2/3 innings) started on Sunday.
Roberts declined to name his reliever box starter for Thursday, with Uceta and Nelson as a possibility.
The Dodgers could also look to veteran David Price for a short start after the left-hander returned from the disabled list on Monday due to a hamstring problem. He pitched an inning Tuesday, but hasn't started a game since Sept. 1, 2019 as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Still, it's not the pitch that has been the problem in the Dodgers' box games. In a 5-15 streak that ended last week, the team struggled to produce points. They did better and won seven of the eight games.
The Dodgers' Max Muncy got off to a slow start, in line with the team's woes, but he's warming up with 11 hits in the last seven games.
Merrill Kelly plans to run with something similar to the game plan Matt Peacock used when he gave up a 5-1 / 3 inning on Wednesday for a spot start. A week off for Kelly won't hurt.
Since he gave up six points in consecutive starts earlier this season, Kelly has a 3.45 ERA in his last five outings when he returned from thoracic outlet surgery last year.
Kelly has three starts in his career against Los Angeles, going 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. The loss came in his only start against the Dodgers last season when he allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings.
|WINNER: Arizona Diamondbacks @ +180|
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