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Dodgers welcome D-Backs for first four games of season

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MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers will kick-off their 2019 campaign with a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. LA struggled with the snakes last year, going 8-11 in the season series.

Thursday (Opening Day) — 1:10 pm PDT

Getting the start for the Dodgers will be Hyun-Jin Ryu. For the first time since 2010, someone other than Clayton Kershaw will be getting the start on Opening Day for LA. Ryu saw his most successful season since joining the Dodgers in 2014. He went 7-3 with an ERA of 1.97. He had 89 strikeouts in 82 13 innings.

Ryu made three starts against the D-Backs last season. In two of the three appearances, he failed to make it four innings, though one was due to him exiting early with an injury.

Starting for the D-Backs will be former friend, Zack Greinke. At the age of 34, Greinke saw one of his more successful seasons last year. He was named to his fifth All-Star team, as well as took home his fifth career Gold Glove award. He won 15 games and struck out 199 batters.

Greinke made four starts versus LA last year, winning three of them. He went at least six innings in every start.

For the most part, Greinke has held the Dodgers in check over the last few years. However, there are a few players that have thrived against him. Both Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager are hitting above .400 against Greinke, with each hitting two home runs off of him. Justin Turner has found great success as well, as he has a lifetime average of .370 with two homers and six RBIs off of his former teammate.

Friday — 7:10 pm PDT

For the first night game of the season, LA will send Ross Stripling to the mound. After a number of injuries to the starting rotation, Stripling finds himself starting the second game of the season for the Dodgers.

It was a career year for Stripling in 2018. He made his first career All-Star game, as well as made a career high 21 starts. He tailed off in the second half of the season, posting an ERA of just under five. Stripling made seven appearances against Arizona last season, but only two starts. He lasted a combined 5 23 innings, allowing seven runs and 13 hits.

Robbie Ray will start for Arizona. Ray had an interesting year last season, as he only tallied two losses in 24 starts. He didn’t lose a game in his final 14 starts, but only picked up three wins during that stretch. His ERA sat at just above 3.00, and opponents hit under .200 during that stretch.

He made two starts against the Dodgers last year, lasting only five innings in both. Ray allowed only three runs, and struck out 16. All across the board, the Dodgers have struggled against Ray. Only three hitters are currently hitting over .300 against him, Chris Taylor, Russell Martin, and David Freese.

Saturday — 6:10 pm PDT

Kenta Maeda will get the start on Saturday. Expected to be LA’s No. 5 starter for the year, Maeda finds himself in the three-spot early on. It was an interesting season, to say the least for the 30-year-old in 2018. He appeared in 39 games, though 20 were starts.

Though he made some appearances out of the bullpen throughout the season, he was fully converted to a reliever in the middle of August.

Countering Maeda will be Zack Godley. For Godley, he saw career numbers all across the board in 2018, finishing with career highs in wins (15), strikeouts (185) and innings (178 13). Though he reached career highs, he struggled everywhere else. After a dominant two-game stretch to start the season, his ERA was over five for the year. He allowed a run in 13 of his final 14 starts.

Sunday — 1:10 pm PDT

Wrapping up the series will be Walker Buehler. It was a long spring for Buehler, as he didn’t pitch in a game until the final week after being held back for precautionary reasons.

It was an unbelievable year for the rookie in 2018. He finished with an ERA of 2.95, and came in third in the Rookie of the Year voting. Over his last 10 starts, Buehler was practically untouchable. He posted an ERA of 1.43, while hitters batted only .149 against him. In 63 innings he had 72 strikeouts,

Luke Weaver will go for Arizona. Weaver was acquired from St. Louis in the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. In 2018, Weaver went 7-11 with an ERA of just under 5.00.

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All of the games can be seen on SportsNet LA.