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Brett Anderson set for milestone start with Dodgers on verge of clinch

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers should know by game time whether they have a chance to clinch the National League West against the Rockies on Saturday night at Coors Field, but at the very least the Dodgers need a win to move closer to home field advantage in the National League Division Series.

Heading into Saturday, the Dodgers' magic number to clinch the NL West is just two. The Giants and Athletics will duel in Oakland at 1 p.m. PT, with Tim Hudson and Barry Zito starting against one another in a beautiful time warp.

Speaking of former A's starting pitchers, Brett Anderson has had a renaissance season of his own. Saturday will be his 30th start of the season, matching his career high, set as a rookie with Oakland in 2009. At 168⅔ innings, Anderson needs seven innings to set a new career high in innings pitched.

Anderson will be the 105th starter in Dodgers history to make 30 starts in a season, and the 49th since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

Anderson's one complete game of the season came at Coors Field, though that was a rain-shortened 2-1 win in five innings on May 8. Anderson allowed only one unearned run, keeping 13 of his 17 balls in play allowed (76.5 percent) on the ground.

In September, Anderson's ground ball rate is just 57.4 percent in his three starts, down from his MLB-best 65.9-percent mark on the season. Anderson allowed two home runs in his last start, on Monday against Arizona, the fourth time this season he has allowed two home runs in a start this season.

Anderson, who pitched for the Rockies in 2014, has allowed one home run in five career starts at Coors Field, with a 2.84 ERA and a 64-percent ground ball rate.

Speaking of home runs, Kyle Kendrick leads the majors with 32 home runs allowed in 25 starts, bringing a 6.37 ERA and 6.32 FIP into Saturday night. At home this season, Kendrick has a 7.35 ERA and 7.76 FIP, with 20 home runs allowed in 12 starts.

The Dodgers have tagged Kendrick for 13 runs and 31 runners reaching base in 17 innings this season, including allowing six runs on 10 hits, including two home runs, in 5⅓ innings at Coors Field on June 1.

In other words, if there was ever a night for the Dodgers offense to thrive, more so than say the one run in five innings they procured against David Hale on Friday, tonight's the night.

Game info

Time: 5:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA