Tonight the Arizona Diamondbacks travel to Los Angeles as they begin their four game series against the Dodgers. Currently the Diamondbacks have a one game advantage over the Dodgers but this series could alter the standings in the National League.
Last season this race wasn’t as tight with the Dodgers leading the way with a 104-58 record. Finishing 11 games ahead of the Diamondbacks and 17 games ahead of the Rockies.
Fast forward a season and the race looks completely different. Now I know it is still August and a lot can change within the next month as the Diamondbacks have possession of first place with a 73-60 record with a .5 game advantage over the Rockies.
Much like I am currently doing for Full Press Coverage, I will focus on two players for each team. Likely being one pitcher and one positional player.
Tonight I will focus on Robbie Ray of the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the 2018 season, Ray has posted a 3-2 record but hasn’t received a victory since June 27th. Ray has battled an oblique injury in which cost him two months during the first half of the season. Though when Ray has played, he has been able to keep opponents in check with a 3.66 ERA over the last six starts.
Against the Dodgers, Ray is 6-3 in his 13 starts with a 2.69 ERA. Those six victories against the Dodgers are the most against one team.
First basemen Paul Goldschmidt has been very impressive this year at the plate. Through 133 games, Goldschmidt has a .290 batting average, 30 HR and 76 RBIs. Goldschmidt has a .395 on base percentage along with his .938 OPS has ultimately helped the Diamondbacks succeed this season.
If the pitching rotation and batting can continue to stay hot, the Diamondbacks may be able to continue their journey into the postseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Taking the mound for the Dodgers is left-hander Rich Hill. This season for the Dodgers, Hill has a 6-4 record with a 3.50 ERA. In his last seven starts, Hill have given up two earned runs or fewer in six of those games. It also looks like the blister issues that Hill has faced the previous two seasons no longer bother him which is huge for the Dodgers rotation. However, during his career against the Diamondbacks, Hill is 0-5 in his seven starts. Against the Diamondbacks this season, Hill is 0-1 with a 12.00 ERA.
For the Dodgers offensively, Matt Kemp has had an impressive season so far. With a batting average of .281 along with 18 HRs and 69 RBIs. The Dodgers have a lot of key pieces offensively with Max Muncy and Manny Machado to name a few. But Kemp leads in two of three categories and continue to succeed this season for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers can continue to find there strides this season but injuries will continue to plague the roster.