The Dodgers enter this series with hopes to clinch the National League West division. This quest has been on high watch for the last week, and the magic number is down to two. The earliest they can clinch is on Tuesday, but this can only happen if:
- the Diamondbacks win only one of two games on Monday and Tuesday, and the Dodgers win on Tuesday, OR
- the Diamondbacks lose both of their next two games.
Los Angeles will have an opponent in the Orioles who were eliminated from division contention back on Aug. 23. Baltimore gone 2-8 in their last 10 games and are on a 5-game losing streak.
Since 2002, these two teams have faced off a total of only 12 times. The Dodgers have a 7-5 record against the Orioles in these matchups.
Game one: Walker Buehler (12-3, 3.28 ERA) vs. Ty Blach (1-2, 10.95 ERA)
Tuesday, Sept. 10 - 4:05 p.m. PT // TV: SportsNet LA
Walker Buehler will get the nod for the series opener on Tuesday night, pitching on some extra rest. It will have been seven entire days of rest when he takes the mound, but this doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll pitch at a higher level. His stats show he doesn’t actually improve performance when he gets a couple extra days off. With 6+ days of rest, he has a 5.19 ERA with an 0-2 record in five games.
He is coming off a rougher outing where he allowed the Rockies to score six runs off eight hits over a span of five innings. Though he has had a few not-so-great outings, Buehler usually bounces back quickly.
Buehler will be facing southpaw Ty Blach, who is making his fifth start in an Orioles jersey. He’s familiar with pitching against LA, since he spent parts of four years with the San Francisco Giants. In his career, he’s faced the Dodgers 13 times for a 2.82 ERA. He’s even pitched against LA as early as this season. Back in April, he was roughed up for seven runs over 3 1⁄3 innings. David Freese and Kiké Hernández each hit homers off him in that contest.
Game two: Ross Stripling (4-4, 3.42 ERA) vs. John Means (10-10, 3.50 ERA)
Wednesday, Sept. 11 - 4:05 p.m. PT // TV: SportsNet LA
Ross Stripling will be the starting pitcher on Wednesday afternoon in his return to the starting rotation. The last time he made a start was on Sept. 1 against the Diamondbacks. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits in the appearance. He has made an appearance since then, but out of the bullpen. Chicken Strip tossed two shutout innings, dealing two strikeouts to the Rockies. He’s all too familiar with flipping back and forth between starter and reliever, so this is nothing new to him.
Up on the mound for the Orioles will be John Means. The rookie portsider is coming off of three pretty decent starts. Most recently, he threw 6 2⁄3 innings against the Rangers, holding them to four hits and two runs. The two runs were scored via a 2-run homer in the tail end of the start. Something to note is Means pitches well at home, with a 7-5 record and a nice 2.86 ERA.
Game three: Rich Hill (4-1, 2.55 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-13, 5.06 ERA)
Thursday, Sept. 12 - 4:15 p.m. PT // TV: FOX
Rich Hill is making his long-awaited return since being placed on the injured list back in June with a strained left flexor tendon. The lefty is only expected to throw about two innings/30 pitches. It will be the first of four starts he will make to end the regular season. If all goes according to plan, these four starts will stretch him out enough to be a postseason starting option.
Hill has a decent résumé against the Orioles from back in the day in the American League. In his career, he’s faced them 12 times, with two of those being starts. Since he was mainly a bullpen piece in these appearances, he boasts a very impressive 0.87 ERA versus the Orioles.
Dylan Bundy will make his 28th start of the season in this series finale. He’s only faced the Dodgers once in his career, being a relief appearance back in 2016. Recently, the right-hander hasn’t been exactly lights out. On Sept. 6 versus the Rangers, he pitched six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, including two home runs.
How many games will the Dodgers win against the Orioles?
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