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Dodgers continue to lean left

88th MLB All-Star Game Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Dodgers will try to extend their winning streak to eight games on Saturday evening against the Marlins, and will do so with the streaking Alex Wood on the mound to start things.

Wood pitched an inning in this park Tuesday, an All-Star on the strength of his 1.67 ERA in 80⅔ innings. The Dodgers have won each of Wood’s last 10 starts, dating back to May 5. He is 10-0 on the season, trying to become the first Dodgers pitcher dating back to at least 1913 to start 11-0.

The start of Wood on Saturday starts a run of three straight left-handed starters for the Dodgers, with Rich Hill starting the series finale in Miami on Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts telling reporters on Friday that Clayton Kershaw will start the opener against the White Sox on Tuesday in Chicago.

The Dodgers have leaned left this season among starters, and could end up with a franchise record before 2017 is done.

Most Dodgers LHP starts

Year Starts
Year Starts
1965 112
1973 96
1972 95
1985 95
1963 94
Source: Baseball-Reference

So far this year, 62 of the Dodgers’ 91 games have been started by left-handers. That’s a pace for 110 starts on the season, even before considering the next three games. They are in position to threaten the club record of 112 starts by southpaws set in 1965.

The horses in the Dodgers rotation 52 years ago were Sandy Koufax (41 starts) and Claude Osteen (40), with fellow lefty Johnny Podres starting 22 games as well. The other southpaw starters that season were otherwise mostly relievers — Nick Wilhite (six starts), John Purdin (two), and future wife-swapper Mike Kekich (one).

Even if the Dodgers don’t surpass that record this season, with the three current lefties in the rotation and Hyun-jin Ryu — who threw a simulated game in Miami on Friday — looming on the periphery, they figure to go down as one of the most lefty-heavy rotations in franchise history.

There have only been four other seasons when the Dodgers got even 90 starts from left-handers, with the last time coming in 1985, when Fernando Valenzuela, Jerry Reuss, and Rick Honeycutt were the bulk of the 95 southpaw starts that season.

Counting the bullpen, 51.3 percent of the Dodgers’ innings this season have come from lefties, but it hasn’t left them vulnerable to right-handed hitters. The Dodgers rank first in MLB this year in OPS allowed to right-handers, holding them to just .219/.297/.354.

Right-handed batters against Dodgers lefties are hitting just .203/.266/.334, second-best OPS allowed in that split. Only Cleveland is better, but only in 172 such plate appearances compared to 1,227 against the Dodgers.

Going streaking

The Dodgers won 10 straight games just last month, from June 16-25. A win on Saturday would give them eight straight wins, putting them in rarefied air. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, only three Dodgers teams have had two separate winning streaks of at least eight games — 1974, 2003, and 2008.

That the 2008 team accomplished that was even more amazing considering the club won just 84 games.

To find a Dodgers team with more than two eight-game win streaks, you have to go back to Brooklyn in 1955. That club had three such streaks, including runs of 10 games and 11 games within the first 24 games of the season.

Game info

Time: 4:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA