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Dodgers start another NL West showdown series

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are back home, where they have another showdown series against a surprisingly strong contender in the National League West.

The Diamondbacks come to Los Angeles on pace for 101 wins, yet 2½ games behind the Dodgers in the National League West. These two teams have played seven times already this season, but last played each other 72 days ago.

Clayton Kershaw gets the start in the opener, as the Dodgers lined up their best three pitchers going against the division rivals. Should Kershaw record at least five outs on Tuesday night, he will be the sixth pitcher to pitch 1,000 innings at Dodger Stadium.

The calendar has turned to July, which has been the best month of Kershaw’s career. He owns a 1.78 ERA in 40 career starts during the month. A herniated disc in his back sidelined him for all of July in 2016, but in four of the previous five Julys Kershaw won National League Pitcher of the Month (2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015).

Kershaw has won his last eight decisions this season, and the Dodgers are undefeated in his last 11 starts.

The Dodgers have also won six straight games and 13 of their last 15 against left-handed starting pitchers, with Arizona starting Patrick Corbin in the opener. Believe it or not, the Dodgers’ 16-9 record against southpaw starters is the best mark in the majors, after LA was just 22-24 against lefties in 2016.

Right-handed batters are hitting .310/.361/.505 against Corbin this season.

Corbin has three consecutive quality starts entering Tuesday night. He also had a quality start at Dodger Stadium on Apr. 15, but still lost because in addition to his three earned runs allowed in six innings, he also allowed two unearned runs, with the Dodgers putting 13 runners on base against him.

Even with their loss on Sunday, the Dodgers are hot, winning 20 of their last 24 games. The second-best record during that span belongs to Arizona, at 17-6.

Game info

Time: 6:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA