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Dodgers to host struggling Nationals for 4 games

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LA has won 10 straight games at home

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After a three-game sweep against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers welcome the Washington Nationals to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series.

LA enters the series with the best record in the national league. They’re currently riding a 10-game winning streak at home. Meanwhile, things are going in the complete opposite direction for the Nationals. They’ve lost four in a row, and 11 of their last 14 games. Coming into the series, they have the second worst record in the national league.

Thursday: Rich Hill (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (2-1, 3.71 ERA)

First pitch: 7:10 pm PDT

Hill will be making his third start of the year for LA. He was great in his first start, allowing only one run in six innings, but found struggles last week in San Diego. Lasting only four innings, Hill couldn’t seem to figure out the Padres lineup, especially Manny Machado. He allowed two homers to the former Dodger, and allowed a total of seven hits in his brief outing.

Corbin is a familiar face for the Dodgers, having played with the D-Backs for many years. He dominated LA last year, posting a 0.77 ERA, and striking out 31 in 23 13 innings. Having signed a huge contract with Washington in the offseason, Corbin has struggled over his last two outings. He’s allowed nine runs and walked seven batters over his last 11 innings.

Justin Turner and Austin Barnes have had success off of Corbin, with Turner hitting .375 with two homers off him, and Barnes hitting .300 with two homers off Corbin as well.

Friday: Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.66 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (0-5, 5.15 ERA)

First pitch: 7:10 pm PDT

It’s been an up-and-down season for Kenta. If you look at his starts, every other start is a quality start, with every other one being a bad start. Game by game, he’s allowed 3, 1, 5, 1, 6, 0, 4 runs. If he’s been consistent with anything, it’s having a good start every two games. He’s coming off a game in which he allowed four runs in six innings at San Diego. His walk numbers are up this year, as he’s walked at least three batters in four games.

After a great 2018 campaign with Atlanta, Anibal Sanchez has struggled immensely in 2019. He’s lost four straight starts, and his ERA sits at over five. His last start was actually his best of the season, where he threw 4 23 innings of scoreless ball and struck out nine. However, if you take away that start, he’s allowed 21 runs in only 32 innings of work.

Saturday: Walker Buehler (4-0, 4.95 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (1-4, 3.78 ERA)

First pitch: 6:10 pm PDT

Both of these pitchers have gotten off to shockingly bad starts. Buehler, though undefeated, currently has an ERA that sits just under five. He’s coming off a seven-inning outing, his longest of the season, as well as having eight strikeouts, tying a season-high. For Buehler, it’s the third time around in the lineup that has plagued him. Opponents are hitting only .196 the first two times through the order, but are hitting a whopping .409 the third time.

Yet again, Scherzer is at the top of the leaderboard in all of baseball with 72 strikeouts. Though, the Nats are 1-7 in his eight starts. For the most part, he’s doing what he normally does. He’s eating up innings and limiting runs, the Nats just aren’t giving him much run support. His ERA would be lower, but thanks to a blowup start against the Marlins in which he allowed six runs, it currently sits right below four.

Sunday: Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.03 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (3-2, 3.71 ERA)

First pitch: 1:10 pm PDT

Hyun-Jin Ryu is quietly putting together a Cy-Young Award type season. He’s coming off a complete came shutout, in which he needed only 93 pitches. Over his last three starts, he’s progressively gone deeper, throwing seven innings, followed by eight, and then nine. He currently has 45 strikeouts to only two walks, which gives him a 22.5 to one strikeout-to-walk ratio. Should the season end today, that would be the highest in baseball history.

Strasburg is near the NL leaderboard with strikeouts as well, having 68 on the season. He has 40 over his last four starts, including two starts with 11. In his last start, he was cruising through six, having allowed no runs and three hits against Milwaukee. He was lit up for four runs in the seventh, and taken out before completing the inning.

Correction: A previous version of this article claimed the Dodgers have the best record in the MLB. The Dodgers have the most wins in the national league, but the Minnesota Twins have the best record in the MLB.