Freddie Freeman isn’t the only former MVP on fire heading into the weekend. Aaron Judge hit four home runs in a three-game stretch in the last week, and over his last 17 games has 12 home runs with a 1.016 slugging percentage.
While the Dodgers are content to go through growing pains with rookie regulars Miguel Vargas and James Outman, the Yankees are doing the same with Anthony Volpe at shortstop. The bulk of Volpe’s value is defense, as he’s started 54 of 58 games this season. But in May he hit just .174/.216/.376 with a 57 wRC+.
Volpe does have 13 stolen bases without getting caught this season, and the Dodgers have allowed more steals than any other MLB team.
This is the Dodgers’ third interleague series of the season. So far they are 3-3, winning a home series against the Twins and dropping a road series to the Rays. The Yankees have won all four interleague series to date, winning two of three against the Padres, Giants, and Phillies, plus a sweep of the Reds.
Giancarlo Stanton is back after missing 45 games with a left hamstring strain. After playing 158 games in his first year with the Yankees in 2018, Stanton has played in just over half (303) of New York’s (604) games. Stanton, who played high school baseball in Sherman Oaks, has nine home runs in 23 career games at Dodger Stadium, hitting .310/.362/.713.
The Yankees bullpen leads the majors with a 2.86 ERA, rank fifth in FIP (3.75), and 13th in strikeout rate (24.6 percent). Dodgers relievers are 26th in ERA (4.54), 22nd in FIP (4.21), and 16th in strikeout rate (23.9 percent). Both teams had Thursday off, so the bullpens should be relatively well rested, and both teams are off Monday, so expect the best relievers for each team to pitch whenever feasible this weekend.
Dodgers vs. Yankees schedule
Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Luis Severino
SportsNet LA, MLB Network (out of market)
Saturday, 4:15 p.m.
Michael Grove vs. Gerrit Cole
Sunday, 4:08 p.m.
Bobby Miller vs. Domingo Germán