After a three-game series sweep in Colorado, the Dodgers (8-2) are riding a five-game winning streak, and head to St. Louis where they’ll battle the Cardinals (4-5) for four games.
Game one: Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Miles Mikolas (0-1. 7.20 ERA)
Monday, Apr. 8 - 4:45 pm PDT
Since getting the Opening Day nod, Ryu has been spectacular for the Dodgers this year. He is coming off a start in which he threw seven innings against the Giants. So far on the young season, Ryu has thrown 13 innings. He has 13 strikeouts in those innings, but more impressively, no walks. For his career, Ryu has a 0.69 career ERA at Busch Stadium.
Ryu has been dominant ever since he returned from the injured list last season. Since August, Ryu has a 1.92 ERA, which is third best in the NL. His 13.2 K/BB rate over that span is 1st in the MLB.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Mikolas, as he’s allowed eight runs in only 10 innings so far. The long ball has been what’s killed him. Last year in 32 starts, he only allowed 16 homers. In just 10 innings this season, he’s already allowed four. The good news for Mikolas is that he gets his first start at Busch this year, a place he went 8-4 with a 2.17 ERA last year.
Game two: Ross Stripling (0-0, 2.31 ERA) vs. Dakota Hudson (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
Tuesday, Apr. 9 - 4:45 pm PDT
Expected to begin the year in the bullpen, Stripling has done well in his two starts in the rotation to begin the year. After throwing 5 1⁄3 scoreless innings in his first start, Stripling threw 6 1⁄3 in his next, allowing three runs against the Giants. Opponents are only hitting .209 off of Stripling so far.
This will be the first start for Hudson in nine days. After making one start, he was moved to the bullpen. In his lone start, he went 4 1⁄3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He got the save in his other appearance, walking one in just 2⁄3 an inning of work.
Game three: Kenta Maeda (2-0, 3.09 ERA) vs. Jack Flaherty (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
Wednesday, Apr. 10 - 4:45 pm PDT
Shockingly, Maeda didn’t have a great start this past weekend at Coors Field. In our last series preview, we talked about how dominant he had been there throughout his career. He walked four, and lasted only five. On the bright side, he was able to work through some tough jams, and did allow only one run.
Flaherty is one of the best young pitchers in all of baseball. He finished top-5 in Rookie of the Year voting last year after going 8-9 with a 3.34 ERA. He’s failed to go more than five innings in both starts this year, though his last one was largely due to a high pitch count. In his last outing against the Padres, Flaherty threw five scoreless, striking out six.
Game four: Walker Buehler (1-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (0-0, 1.54 ERA)
Thursday, Apr. 11 - 10:15 am PDT
After a disastrous first start to the season, Buehler looked a lot better in his second outing. He allowed only one run in five innings of work at Coors, with the lone run coming as a result of a homer. Buehler looks to ride his hot momentum from last season against the Cardinals, as he struck out 18 in only 15 innings of work.
Wacha is coming off one of the strangest starts of his career. He only allowed one run and three hits in 5 2⁄3 innings against the Padres, and struck out seven batters. However, he allowed a career-high eight walks. In 11 2⁄3 innings this season, Wacha has 12 walks. He’s struggled in his career against the Dodgers, going 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA.