Preview: Clayton Kershaw Looks To Pitch Dodgers To Sweep Of Giants

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After getting another strong outing from Zack Greinke, who improved to 15-3 and lowered his MLB-best ERA to 1.59, the Los Angeles Dodgers now look to sweep the San Francisco Giants behind Clayton Kershaw and an offense that’s managed to come up with timely hits. A win Wednesday night would extend the Dodgers’ lead to 6.5 games in the National League West.

Kershaw is coming off a 3-0 record in August over six starts, while he simultaneously posted a second consecutive month with a sub-2.00 ERA. On the season he’s 11-6 with a 2.24 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Kershaw enters the start ranking second in the Majors with 236 strikeouts, trailing only Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox who has 239 strikeouts this season.

Kershaw however leads the Majors in both xFIP (2.10) and FIP (2.11), and he faces a Giants team that he’s held to a career-best .189 batting average against. Moreover, Kershaw is a career 14-7 with an all-time best 1.63 ERA against San Francisco.

Countering the reigning NL MVP is 27-year-old Mike Leake (9-6, 3.35 ERA) who is making his third start with since coming off the disabled list with a strained hamstring. The right-hander has yet to win a game with San Francisco and is 2-3 with a 5.56 ERA against the Dodgers in his career.

Andre Ethier and Justin Turner are hitting a combined .484 against Leake in their respective careers. Chase Utley returns to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s game, and bats second behind Jimmy Rollins.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has the pitcher’s spot hitting ninth following a brief hiatus where he allowed Greinke to bat eighth. As such, Joc Pederson returns to the eight-hole. A home sweep of the Giants would be the first for the Dodgers since June of 2013.

Dodgers Lineup:

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Chase Utley

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

3B: Justin Turner

RF: Andre Ethier

LF: Carl Crawford

C: Yasmani Grandal

CF: Joc Pederson

P: Clayton Kershaw

Giants Lineup:

CF: Angel Pagan

LF: Gregor Blanco

3B: Matt Duffy

C: Buster Posey

RF: Marlon Byrd

1B: Brandon Belt

2B: Kelby Tomlinson

SS: Ehire Adrianza

P: Mike Leake


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