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Opening weekend series news & notes

Morning update from Dodger Stadium

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES —— The Dodgers have a run differential of 19 runs after their first three games. Just three teams, the Dodgers, Mariners and A’s have even scored more than 19 runs so far.

The Diamondbacks have scored five runs each game and have two losses to show for that.

Five Dodgers with 10 or more plate appearances have an OPS higher than 1.200. Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernández and A.J. Pollock are all among the leaders so far in the first weekend of the season.

Yesterday, the Dodgers had 19 hits and 15 of them stayed in the ballpark. The Dodgers have talked about using the whole field and this morning manager Dave Roberts reiterated that they will strive to continue this focus. One byproduct could be teams shifting less against the Dodgers.

“I think it’s important,” manager Dave Roberts said, “whatever adjustments the opposition makes, that’s on them. We just believe that having a two-strike approach, being able to use the whole field, bunt to beat the shift at times, it just gives you more weapons and makes you a better player.”

“We’re going to continue to believe in that and do that.”

Buehler makes his first start of the season

Roberts would not give an innings or pitch count limit for Buehler today but he wouldn’t say he was without some limitation.

“I don’t really know number, obviously I don’t see him getting to a hundred pitches,” Roberts said, “it’s his first start out of spring training so kind of layer in the stress, and how he’s feeling and executing, things like that.” “I expect him to get through the five innings.”

Roberts is glad that he’s been able to get everyone involved early

The Dodgers have had two blowout wins and an extra-inning game so that has given nearly everyone on the 25-man roster a chance to get their first playing time this season.

Roberts talked about on how important it was for Kenta Maeda to get to the seventh inning last night.

“We’re playing well, we’re pitching well,” Roberts said, “yesterday it was big in the sense that with Kenta just being able to get our bullpen back on line.” “And I do think that early on, for us to get all of our guys at-bats, Verdugo is getting a start today, this is kind of actually little idyllic for us as far as keeping guys involved.”

Justin Turner and Corey Seager have a scheduled day off today

The Dodgers had said earlier this series that they had planned to give both Justin Turner and Corey Seager the day off today. As they are both key members of the lineup, Roberts was asked that if he would prefer not to have both of them off on the same day.

“I would say it’s probably more ideal, yeah, to not have both out of the lineup on the same day,” Roberts said, “but to be quite honest, in one particular game, when you have the guys that we have in there to replace them, it’s not too much of a downgrade to me.”

“We have so many good players and but I think ideally with the day after night game for me, just looking at the calendar, first four games in, I kind of had this one penciled in.”

Roberts did say that he thought about changing this plan after the extra-inning game on Friday but he talked to both Seager and the training staff and he decided to stick with this plan.

Roberts said that while both players are available, he would like to have them both have the whole game off if possible.

Today’s pitching matchup, Walker Buehler against Luke Weaver

Luke Weaver is making his first career start against the Dodgers. He has pitched against the Dodgers twice in his career.

In 2018, Weaver, then with the St. Louis Cardinals, picked up a win in a relief in his first appearance against them at Dodger Stadium on August 21, 2018. He pitched 2⅓ innings, gave up a run and three hits.

Weaver’s second career appearance did not go as well. He again pitched 2⅓ innings but this time he gave up seven runs and three hits.

Walker Buehler will making his third career start against the Diamondbacks In 12⅓ total innings, Buehler has given up three runs, six hits and five walks. He also has 14 strikeouts.