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Dodgers welcome Pirates to town, a team they’ve dominated in recent history

LA has won 13 straight

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Dodgers welcome the Pirates to Dodger Stadium Monday night for a three-game series. Recent history between these clubs would suggest the Dodgers are licking their chops at the opportunity.

Going back to 2009, the Dodgers have won at least three games in a home series against the Pirates in eight of the last 11 seasons in which they played each other (no games in 2020 with shortened schedule). Six of those series ended in Dodger sweeps, including the previous three.

The Dodgers are 20-2 in their last 22 games with Pittsburgh overall, scoring nearly seven runs a game.

Only two teams have done worse than the 42-76 record Pittsburgh has played to so far this season (Orioles, Diamondbacks). It’s been even worse since the trade deadline, with only two of the 14 games in August going into the win column for the Bucs.

As the Dodger offense continues to get healthy with Cody Bellinger hitting much better recently and a strong return from Justin Turner Sunday, the focus in this series is once again shuffling the starting pitching.

Julio Urias was placed on the injured list over the weekend after getting hit by a pitch, meaning the Dodgers will now have to cover multiple starts this week.

It should be an interesting series that could force more roster moves if they don’t get any length out David Price (Tuesday) and Mitch White (Wednesday). Let’s not kid ourselves, there will be roster moves either way.

Pitching matchups

Monday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA): Bullpen vs. Steven Brault

Steven Brault will be making his third start of the season for the Pirates after missing over four months with a left lat strain, suffered in spring training. In those two starts, the left-hander has gone no more than 78 pitches and has given up a total of three runs over nine innings, striking out eight against just one walk.

As previously mentioned, it will be Johnny Wholestaff for the Dodgers.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA): David Price vs. Will Crowe

Taking the ball Tuesday, Wil Crowe is one of five starters for the Pirates that owns an era over 5.00 after making at least eight starts this season. A not-so-fun fact for the right-hander who has allowed 51 runs (47 earned) in 80.1 innings.

The Dodgers will counter with David Price in what will be his 10th start of the year and 31st appearance overall. The veteran lefty, turning 36 later this month, will be looking for more cuts at the plate after ripping an RBI-double in his last start.

Had it not been for a rain delay in the middle of his start, Wednesday in Philadelphia might have been the first time all year with consecutive starts for Price lasting at least five innings. It was still a much needed four innings, coming back out for two more innings after a 57-minute delay.

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA): Mitch White vs. JT Brubaker

It’s hard to believe but JT Brubaker actually was 3-2 with a 2.58 ERA through his first seven starts of the year into mid-May. Since that point, the right-hander has given up a whopping 54 runs (53 earned) in 74 innings over 14 starts.

The opposition has scored five or more runs a total of six times during that stretch. Brubaker faced the Dodgers at PNC Park back on June 8, failing to complete the fifth inning after not surrendering a run through the first four innings. It was the bottom of the order that started a three-run rally that would knock Brubaker from the game.

Mitch White will make his first career start at Dodger Stadium in his 17th appearance of 2021. Four innings and around 60 pitches has been where the Dodgers have held White recently and it will be interesting to see if that limit is stretched if the bullpen sees a heavy load in the first two games of the series.