Major League Baseball action on Friday evening and the National League West will square off with the National League Central as the Los Angeles Dodgers invade PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA to grapple with the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is the opening contest of a three-game set. The Dodgers swept a three-game series from the Pirates in LA earlier in the year.
Pitching Matchup: The Dodgers will be sending out Walker Buehler (4-1, 3.83 ERA) and the Pirates will counter with Joe Musgrove (3-4, 3.67 ERA).
Dodgers Get Ripped In Tampa
The Los Angels Dodgers continue to sport the best record in the National League as they come in at 32-18 on the year. LA has a 6.0 game lead over the Padres in the National League West and they will look to keep things rolling in this one against a Pittsburgh team that they swept at home earlier in the year. The Dodgers outscored Pittsburgh 16-9 in the three-game set and they have now won their last seven against the Pirates overall. Can they keep it going? We shall see. The Dodgers have been one of the better offensive teams in the league, but that was not the case in their finale against the Rays as they lost by a score of 8-1. LA had averaged 5.0 rpg over their previous seven games.
The pitching also struggled in the game after the Dodgers had allowed an average of just 2.00 rpg over their previous nine games. They had four shutouts over that stretch. Taking the loss against the Rays was Dylan Floro (1-1, 2.21 ERA), who allowed four ERs on three hits without recording an out in the 7th inning. Rich Hill got the start and allowed just one ERs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven in 6.0 innings of work but was saddled with the no-decision. The pen has been an issue for the Dodgers and they may need to shore it up if they hope to make a serious run at a World Series Title. Max Muncy provided their offense in the loss with his 10th round-tripper of the year.
Muncy ya later. pic.twitter.com/ZCQeVyap9s
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 23, 2019
Toeing the rubber for the Dodgers will be Walker Buehler and he has gone 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in nine starts on the year, including 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts on the road. In his career, he has gone 7-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 21 games (16 starts) on the road and 3-2 with a 2.12 ERA in eight starts during the month of May, plus 6-3 with a 4.84 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) in the daytime. This will be his first meeting with the Pirates.
The Dodgers have been a strong offensive team so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.14 rpg, while also ranking 11th in hitting at .252 and 6th in homers with 77. On the mound, they have been strong as they come in ranked 4th in the league in ERA at 3.51, while also ranking 2nd in WHIP at 1.09 and 12th in K’s with 441. The bullpen ranks 22nd in the league with a 4.62 ERA.
Pirates Crush Rockies In Finale
The Pittsburgh Pirates have played well on the road this year at 15-11, but they have had their struggles at home, where they have gone just 10-11 so far. The Pirates are just 3.5 games out of first in the National League Central and they could be a bit closer if they had a bit better record at home. The Pirates just came off a road trip where they went 7-4 on it, but then lost their first two games against the Rockies at home. The Pirates were outscored 14-3 in those two games, but they got a measure of revenge with a 14-6 win in the finale.
Pittsburgh had a 4-0 lead after the first and an 8-0 lead after the 5th before the Rockies tightened things up with a six spot in the 6th/ Pittsburgh then had a six-run inning of their own in the 7th to put the game away. Five players drove in two runs, while drove in three. Starling Marte (5), Gregory Polanco (5), Josh Bell (16) and Bryan Reynolds all went deep in the game. Bell had three hits to raise his average to .339 on the year, which is 3rd in the league. Jordan Lyles (5-1, 2.81 ERA) had his worst start of the year as he allowed six ERs on seven hits and a walk while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work, but he still picked up the win thanks to the offense. Lyles was a part of that offense as he had two RBIs in the contest.
— Pirates (@Pirates) May 23, 2019
The Pirates will counter with Joe Musgrove and he has gone 3-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) on the year, including 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA in three starts here at home. In his career, he has gone 5-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts here at PNC Park and 7-4 with a 4.76 ERA in 11 starts during the month of May, plus 4-7 with a 5.67 ERA in 19 games (13 starts0 during the daytime. Musgrove is 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.
Pittsburgh has been poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 23rd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.96 rpg, while also ranking 17th in hitting at .245 and 27th in homers with 47. On the mound, they have been below average as they rank 18th in the league in ERA at 4.38, while also ranking 14th in WHIP at 1.31 and 16th in K’s with 425. The pen for the Bucs ranks 22nd in the league with a 4.60 ERA.
Los Angeles is:
- 23-9 in their last 32 games on grass
- 6-0 in Buehler’s last 6 starts during game 1 of a series
- 5-13 in their last 18 vs. the National League West
- 0-5 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record