LA v HOU Pre-Game: Kershaw looks for elusive first win

Clayton Kershaw v Kyle Weiland. Not quite sure the Dodgers need to look past that matchup in sizing up this game.

The Dodgers have been playing pretty good baseball lately, and a game like this is a perfect time to build some more confidence in winning a game everyone expects them to. Kershaw remains the only Dodger starter without a win this year, and the way this one is shaping up, I think he’s in line for win number one.

Los Angeles Dodgers (11-3) at Houston Astros (5-9)
4:05 PM PST, April 21, 2012
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)

Astros Projected Starters:
Kyle Weiland
Jason Castro
1B: Carlos Lee
2B: Jose Altuve
SS: Jed Lowrie
3B: Chris Johnson
LF: J.D. Martinez
CF: Jordan Schafer
RF: Brian Bogusevic

Key Bench Players: C Chris Snyder, SS Marwin Gonzalez

For more information on the Astros, check out our pre-series report.

Dodgers Last 10: (8-2): W @ HOU, W @ MIL, @ MIL, @ MIL, W vs SD, vs SD, W vs SD, W vs PIT, W vs PIT, W vs PIT.
Astros Last 10:
 (2-8): L vs LA, W @ WAS, @ WAS, @ WAS, @ WAS, @ MIA, @ MIA, @ MIA, vs ATL, vs ATL.

Fun Facts:

  • Kyle Weiland (no relation to Padres pitched Joe Wieland), a Notre Dame graduate, holds the dubious distinction of being the only Red Sox player to be ejected in his first career appearance (2011).
  • In two starts against the Astros last season, Kershaw allowed just one run in 14 innings while striking out 16.
  • Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are first and second in RBIs in the Major Leagues, having driven in 39 RBIs between the two, which accounts for all but 24 of the team’s RBI.
  • In 10.2 innings this season, Weiland has allowed 18 hits, 10 ER and three HR.

Keys to a Dodger Victory:

– Get the bats going
Dodger hitters probably have eyes the size of grapefruits in looking at Weiland’s numbers thus far this season, but they can’t sleepwalk into this game expecting to roll. This is a great chance for guys like James Loney, who are struggling at the plate, to get their bats going.

 Rest the bullpen
It’s always nice to give the guys in the bullpen a break every now and then, and with a pitching matchup like this, I’m sure Don Mattingly is hoping Kershaw can give him at least seven or eight innings.

Best-Case Prediction: Dodgers 10, Astros 1
 Dodgers 3, Astros 2

Staff Writer

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