The Dodgers were able to claw their way back into the National League West race thanks in large part to strong play against the division. They look for more of the same as they open a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field on Thursday night in Denver.
The Dodgers are 23-16 against National League West teams this season. Though they are just 3-7 against the Giants, owners of a half-game lead over the Dodgers entering play on Thursday, the Dodgers have won at least two-thirds of their games against the other three teams in the division.
The Dodgers have won four straight series against the West, going 9-3 during that span, including four straight wins against Colorado. The Dodgers won two of three games in Denver four weeks ago, from June 6-8, and are 6-3 against the Rockies this season.
The Dodgers play eight of their 10 remaining games before the All-Star break against the Rockies and Padres.
Zack Greinke gets the call, looking for his 11th win of the season. At 10-4 he has matched his most wins before the All-Star break. he was 10-5 before the break in 2009, the year he won the American League Cy Young Award with the Royals. He has 111 strikeouts, and with at least one more strikeout on Thursday would have the second-most strikeouts before the break in his career, trailing only the 129 he tallied in 2009.
Since joining the Dodgers, Greinke is 12-1 with a 2.20 ERA against the National League West in 20 starts, with 121 strikeouts and 35 walks in 126⅔ innings.
Franklin Morales is making his first start for Colorado since May 31. He had a 4.50 ERA in eight relief appearances in June, including nine strikeouts, five walks and four home runs allowed in 14 innings. Despite a month of not starting, Morales is still tied for second in the National League with 17 home runs allowed this year.
Matt Kemp is the only Dodger to hit a home run off Morales, and that came in 2007. Scott Van Slyke, who has started every single game against left-handed starters this season for the Dodgers is 1-for-1 against Morales.
Time: 5:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network