The Dodgers begin a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field on Thursday night, the club’s last road games for probably at least three weeks or so.
Next week the Dodgers are back home, and they will host up to three games in the wild card round. If the Dodgers win the division — they need six of 19 LA and San Diego outcomes to go their way to do so — and happen to win the wild card round, they’d be the home team in the first two games of the NLDS as well.
So if all goes as planned for the Dodgers, after this weekend in Denver the next time they get first ups will be either Thursday, Oct. 8 (for Game 3 of the NLDS) or in 2021.
But for this weekend in Colorado, the Dodgers will bat first, so let’s take a look at how they’ve done in that regard this season.
In the first inning in 2020 the Dodgers are hitting .254/.324/.503, ninth in MLB in OPS, and they’re tied for eighth with 29 first-inning runs in 50 games.
Thirteen of those first-inning runs have come on the road. The Dodgers have scored in the first inning in eight of their 26 road games this season, and are 7-1 in those games.
The Dodgers have 14 first-inning home runs, third in MLB behind the Padres (16) and Yankees (15). Mookie Betts, LA’s overall home run leader, has two homers in the first inning, hitting .289/.400/.500. Corey Seager leads the Dodgers with four first-inning home runs, while A.J. Pollock and Max Muncy have three each.
The first six games between the Dodgers and Rockies this season were in Los Angeles, and the Dodgers scored in the first inning in five of the six games. That included a run in the first against Kyle Freeland on Aug. 22, a game later won by the Dodgers 4-3.
Freeland starts the series opener for the Rockies. He had a quality start in that game four weeks ago, something he’s done in eight of 10 starts this season, including four quality starts in six starts at Coors Field.
Julio Urías gets the call for the Dodgers on Thursday. He’s had a rough time in his career in Denver, allowing 15 runs on 24 hits and eight walks in 16⅓ innings, with 13 strikeouts. In his five appearances, including three starts at Coors Field, his longest outing is four inning.
The Dodgers have 11 relief pitchers on the roster to start the four-game series, and with Friday is set to be a bullpen game — whether Mitch White is called up to start or not — the bullpen will get lots of work this weekend in Denver.
Time: 5:40 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA