The Rangers were swept in a four-game series against the Astros over the weekend before beginning their interleague series in Los Angeles and they will have their hands full against one of the hottest lineups in all of baseball. The Dodgers have scored 39 runs over the past week, which ranks second in the MLB. The long ball has been a serious weapon for them during that span, as they’ve launched a league-leading 17 home runs during that span.
Hamels pitching well, but not getting results for Rangers
The Rangers will hand the ball off to lefty ace Cole Hamels on Wednesday night for their final game at Dodger Stadium. Hamels enters with a disappointing 3-6 overall record despite sporting a respectable 3.86 ERA in 13 starts this year. The 34-year-old has been especially good on the road this season, where he has posted a stellar 2.55 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP
Hamels has completed six innings or more in five straight starts and 8 of his last 10 outings overall. He will be in search of a bounce back outing on Wednesday night though after getting roughed up by the Houston Astros in his last start. The Rangers’ ace allowed five runs on seven hits in 7 ⅓ innings of work to lose his second straight decision and is now 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA over his past three starts.
Hamels hasn’t faced the Dodgers since he was a member of the Phillies back in 2014, but he comes in with a 3-2 overall record and a 1.89ERA in eight career starts against them.
Maeda returns at the right time for Los Angeles
The Dodgers will counter by sending veteran Kenta Maeda to the mound at Dodger Stadium for his first start since May 29. Manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Maeda would be activated from the 10-day DL after completing a bullpen session on Sunday without incident. He missed about two weeks with a strained right hip, but his return comes at a vital time for the Dodgers, who are dealing with a slew of injuries to their starting rotation right now. Currently, Ross Stripling is the only other regular member of the Dodgers’ rotation that is at full strength at the moment.
Maeda enters with a 4-4 overall record to go along with a 3.61 ERA on the season. Prior to getting hurt in his last start against the Phillies on May 29, he had tossed consecutive scoreless outings of two-hit ball against the Rockies and Marlins. This will be his first career start against the Rangers.
- Rangers are 7-2 in their last 9 interleague road games.
- Rangers are 21-6 in their last 27 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 during game 2 of a series.
- Dodgers are 1-8 in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
Maeda was just starting to round into midseason form before getting injured in a loss against the Phillies, but there is always a little added uncertainty when a pitcher is coming off of a prolonged DL stint. Hamels has had plenty of success against the Dodgers in the past and has been pitching better than his overall record suggests this season. He’s allowed two earned runs or less in six of his last eight starts, which has me leaning towards the Rangers in their final game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. Despite the Dodgers recent success, take Texas to come away with a win in this interleague series matchup.