Nothing breeds comfort and familiarity like being home. After a long and tough road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers return to Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night to take on the Oakland Athletics. To help them kick off the small five-game home slate will be a superstar athlete of a different sport. Running back Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams will be throwing out the first pitch before the game.
This is not the first time that Gurley has shown some support of the Dodgers. Before the 2017 All-Star Game, Gurley campaigned on twitter for fans to vote Justin Turner into the game. With the popularity of fantasy football today – and coming off the Rams stellar 2017 season – this was an excellent choice by the Dodgers to kick off a home game with some energy. Right now, the Dodgers need every little bit of energy their home crowd can muster.
The Dodgers welcome the interstate rival Oakland Athletics, thus opening their inter-league play in 2018. The Athletics will throw Sean Manaea, a lefty who has been phenomenal in two starts this season. Manaea has thrown 15 and 2/3 innings this season, allowing just seven hits and two earned runs. He’s struck out 11 hitters and walked only one. This is a tough assignment for a team that has been scuffling for every run lately.
Return To Chavez Ravine
I’ve been telling friends who mention the Dodgers’ struggles that I think the biggest thing for the team is just getting back to Los Angeles. I remember back when I was playing and in a slump, if nothing else would work; sometimes just getting back to the home park paid large dividends. Ballplayers although so very different are all wired the same internally. You typically see the ball better at home. You’re sleeping in your own bed. It’s not 50,000 against 25. There are so many factors that playing in your home park can help ever so slightly.
I would not be shocked to see the Dodgers come out sharp over the next five games and look a bit more lively. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to sweep the home-stand or anything; but playing games at Dodger Stadium is never a bad thing. There’s a magic that park seems to bring at some point during the season, especially at night and late in games. Maybe we see the first glimpse of it over the next couple of days. And we get Todd Gurley – a guy who probably helped a few of you win a fantasy football titles this past fall!
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