The Dodgers host their longtime foe, the New York Yankees, this weekend for a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. Both teams bring their league’s best records to this matchup with the Dodgers being two-games better at 85-44 versus the Yankees 83-46 record.
The @Yankees-@Dodgers game tonight will be the first interleague game all-time in which both teams enter 30+ games over .500.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) August 23, 2019
It's also the latest date that teams with the best record in each league will play each other in the regular season.#PinstripePride#LABleedsBlue pic.twitter.com/7eNxgQ7RMo
Huge crowds are expected at Dodger Stadium as this could be a potential World Series preview with the Dodgers being the top National League contender while the Yankees have the Astros among others to contend with in the American League.
The winner of this series will have the first tie-breaker for home field advantage if both teams finish with the same record and they face each other in the World Series.
From 1941 to 1981, the Dodgers and Yankees played 11 World Series against each other, that remains the highest amount for any matchup in World Series history.
About the only thing missing from the series will be each team’s traditional uniforms as both teams will be wearing their Players’ Weekend uniform for each of the three games played.
Friday: Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) vs. James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA)
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT // SportsNet LA, FB-WATCH (out-of-market only)
A pair of left-handed pitchers will pitch the first game of the series. Hyun-Jin Ryu will bring his Major League best ERA against James Paxton.
Ryu gave up more than two runs in only his third of 22 starts this season in his last game against the Braves last weekend. But while he has been good just about every where he has pitched this season, Ryu has shined at Dodger Stadium in 2019.
In 11 starts, Ryu is 9-0 and has a 0.81 ERA in 77⅔ innings. Ryu has struck out 77 and walked 10. The Dodgers have won every start he has made this season at home.
The only Yankee with any real experience against the Dodgers and in this case, Ryu, will be infielder DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu is 2-for-16 against Ryu over his career with one walk and two strikeouts.
James Paxton was traded to the Yankees from the Mariners last November. Paxton had been 41-26 with a 3.42 ERA with the Mariners from 2013 through 2018.
This season, Paxton’s FIP is over a run higher than last season, 4.32 to 3.23, and over a run and a half higher from his best seasons in 2016 and 2017 with the Mariners.
One reason for that is the increase of home runs allowed by Paxton, he had not given up more than nine home runs in a season from 2013 - 2017. In the last two seasons, Paxton has allowed 23 in 160⅓ innings pitched in 2018 and so far in 113⅓ innings pitched in 2019, Paxton has seen 21 home runs hit against him.
Being in the American League for his entire career, Paxton has no real history against any Dodger, the only active players he could face are Russell Martin, Jedd Gyorko and Joc Pederson. Martin has nine plate appearances against Paxton, Gyorko has five and Pederson went 1-for-3 against Paxton.
Saturday: Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia ( 5-7, 5.01 ERA)
First pitch: 1:05 p.m. PT // SportsNet LA, FS1
Maybe this sums up this game, CC Sabathia will be making his 557th career start while Tony Gonsolin will be making his fourth career start.
The 39-year old Sabathia was recently activated after being placed on the 10-day injured list with right knee inflammation last month.
Gonsolin last pitched on Sunday, where he gave up a run in four innings pitched. This will be his second start at Dodger Stadium, he won his first start when he pitched six scoreless innings against the Cardinals earlier this month.
The Dodgers have not indicated how many more starts Gonsolin might make for them over the next several weeks, they did say that will use six starters during this stretch over 16-straight games in 16 days.
Gonsolin has pitched a total of 59⅓ innings between both Oklahoma City (Triple-A) and Los Angeles. Last season, Gonsolin pitched 128 total innings in the minors.
Sabathia has made three career starts against the Dodgers, the first was in 2008 at Dodger Stadium where he also hit one of his three career home runs off Chan Ho Park.
Sabathia has already announced this will be his final season, the 2007 Cy Young Award winner and member of the last Yankee World Series winning team in 2009, Sabathia also has this fun fact, the only pitchers with more than 500 games started with no games pitched in relief are Sabathia and Tom Glavine. Like Sabathia, Glavine never pitched a major league game where he did not start.
Sunday: Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.71 ERA) vs. Domingo German (16-3, 4.15 ERA)
First pitch: 4:05 p.m. PT // ESPN
The Sunday Night Game (at least for those in the Central and Eastern time zones) will feature Clayton Kershaw whose .867 winning percentage leads the majors against the Yankees and Domingo German, who leads all pitchers with 16 wins and is second to Kershaw with a .842 winning percentage.
This game will also feature the one matchup that has happened the most in this player’s career, DJ LeMahieu will add to his 66 plate appearances against Kershaw. That is most plate appearances he has against any pitcher, Zack Greinke is second on his list with 61 plate appearances.
In those 66 plate appearances, LeMahieu is hitting .279/.333/.361 with 14 strikeouts and five walks.
German is in his third season and like several other Yankee pitchers, he has no history against the Dodgers. He has only pitched to Russell Martin and he will not likely face Martin on Sunday.
How many games will the Dodgers win this series?
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