After the Los Angeles Dodgers canceled the series against the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, they begin a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
The Dodgers are third in the National League West with a record of 35-24, while the Pirates, who were last in NL Central, go into the matchup with 23-35.
Walker Buehler takes the hill for the Dodgers after pitching a 2.82 ERA and 3.72 FIP with 70 strikeouts and 13 walks over 70.1 innings. He has only faced the pirates one more time in his career, which took place at PNC Park in 2019.
In that start, Buehler went six innings, allowing a run on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
The Pirates counter with JT Brubaker, a 27-year-old right-handed man who is their only starting mug with an ERA below 4.50. In 55.1 innings, he served up to a 3.74 ERA and 4.55 FIP while hitting 56 and walking 13. Brubaker, who made his MLB debut last season, has never played against the Dodgers.
The right-handed Dodgers have hit 0.238 / 0.337 / 0.404 this season, making them 9% better than the league average of wRC +, good enough for fourth place in the league. The right-handed pirates fought to say the least.
They beat .229 / .300 ./. 349 this season and are 18% worse than the league average against right-handers, which places them 29th out of 30 teams.
As manager Dave Roberts had hoped, Max Muncy returned to the Dodgers line-up after failing to start the last two games due to a minor sprain in his right ankle. In the series finale against the Braves, however, he managed a pinch hit.
Muncy has played at MVP level this season and reached 0.264 / .422.527 with 13 home runs and 30 runs.
One Pirates player to watch out for throughout the series is right-handed relief pitcher Richard Rodriguez, who scored 1.85 ERA and 1.95 FIP in 24.1 innings. It is likely to attract a lot of commercial interest in the league and could be one of the top targets for the Dodgers.
RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Will Smith
2B: Chris Taylor
SS: Gavin Lux
LF: AJ Pollock
P: Walker Buhler
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