NL West action here as the Arizona Diamondbacks host the Los Angeles Dodgers for the third game of their four-game series. We'll have two young starters on the mound here, as Luke Weaver takes the hill for Arizona while Julio Urias gets the start for Los Angeles. Oddsmakers have the Dodgers as a modest favorite for this one.
Dodgers Dominating With PitchingTo say the Los Angeles Dodgers have high expectations for this season would be a pretty big understatement. After their offseason moves, which included trading for superstar outfielder Mookie Betts, the Dodgers were widely expected to dominate the division. They haven't necessarily looked unbeatable but things have been going pretty well, as they chalked up a 5-2 record through their first seven games. Their two losses came by a combined three runs, so they easily could be undefeated at this point. The pitching has been incredible, as they've only given up more than three runs in one of their first seven contests.
Julio Urias will try to keep that trend going here, and the 23-year-old looked pretty darn good in his first start of the year. Pitching against the Giants, he allowed only one run in five innings of work. The lefty allowed only one run in seven innings against this Diamondbacks team last season, giving up just four hits. What's notable is that the Dodgers have managed to have this great success so far without some of their star offensive players playing particularly well. Cody Bellinger and Betts have both struggled mightily, and it's been guys like Max Muncy and Corey Seager picking up the slack. Muncy, Seager, and A.J. Pollock all enter this one with an OPS above 1.000. Nobody wants to see this team right now.
Diamondbacks Can't HitThe Arizona Diamondbacks were a very solid team last season, when they won 85 games and finished in second place in the NL West. Many expected them to finish in second place yet again this year, but they looked pretty bad so far. They entered Friday at just 2-5, and the offense has been struggling mightily. Through their first seven games, they had failed to top four runs even once, and they'd scored just 20 cumulatively. Six of their nine everyday starters are hitting .188 or lower, which is pretty incredible in a bad way. The team has just two total home runs, and a team on base percentage of only .276.
Luke Weaver will be on the mound here, and if he pitches anything like he did in his first start of the season, he's going to need a lot of run support. Weaver got rocked by the Padres on Monday, giving up six earned runs in just 3 and 1/3 innings of work. He looked great in 12 starts for the Diamondbacks last year but had a 4.95 era in a full 2018 campaign, so it's possible his limited action last year was just a fluke. Unfortunately, his worst start of all of last season came in his one outing against this Los Angeles team, when he gave up four earned runs and was chased after just 4 and 1/3.
Trends, courtesy of Covers.com:
- 3-13 in their last 16 games as an underdog
- 15-3 in their last 18 road games
- 14-5 in their last 19 overall
- 21-7 in their last 28 games as a road favorite