PNC Park has been a road block for the Dodgers in each of their previous four division-winning campaigns, dropping 10 of their 13 games in Pittsburgh from 2013-16, losing all four series.
But 2017 has been a different season for the Dodgers, a sublime one that has seen them rack up wins at an astonishing rate. They have not lost a series since June 5-7 to the Nationals, and are unbeaten in their last 21 series (18-0-3), winning 52 of their last 62 games.
They lost seven consecutive series to the Pirates — including three in Los Angeles — in the previous four seasons, but were able to turn things around this year, taking all three home games against the Pirates from May 8-10.
Pittsburgh has been unable to find their footing this season, putting together just one winning month — 14-11 in July — so far. They enter play on Monday at 60-64, mired in fourth place in the three-team National League Central race, 6½ games back of the division-leading Cubs.
A silver lining for the Pirates in 2017 has been the resurgence of center fielder Andrew McCutchen, hitting .288/.380/.509 with 23 home runs, 19th in the National League with a 133 wRC+.
August has been a rough month for the Pirates pitching staff with a 4.95 ERA, including 4.77 from the starters and 5.28 from the bullpen.
UCLA alum Gerrit Cole starts the opener for the Pirates hoping to improve those numbers. The right-hander has a 3.13 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break, striking out 47 with 11 walks in his 46 innings.
Alex Wood takes the mound for the Dodgers, sporting a 1.72 ERA in nine road starts this season, with 48 strikeouts and 15 walks in 52⅓ innings. Wood has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last seven starts away from home.
He will be tasked with attempting to throw the first quality start by a Dodgers starter in Pittsburgh since Hyun-jin Ryu on July 21, 2014. In their last nine games at PNC Park, Dodgers starters have allowed 39 runs in 42⅔ innings for a 8.23 ERA, leading to eight Los Angeles losses in that span.
Time: 4:05 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA