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Series Preview #45, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

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After bouncing back strong against the Padres, Arizona looks to make the most of their off day and host the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ralph Freso

What's New?

After wrapping up a rough ten-game road trip with a four-game sweep in Washington, the Diamondbacks returned to Chase Field strong and won two of their three games against the Padres. Arizona got a great performance from Josh Collmenter on Friday night, as he gave up just an unearned run on four hits over 8.1 innings in the 5-1 win. On Saturday night, Didi Gregorius' three-run blast broke up a tie game and powered the D-Backs to a 5-2 win. The Padres offense finally showed up in the series finale, as San Diego put together five runs (four earned) against Chase Anderson en route to a 7-4 win. Arizona is now 27-40 at home this season, and have won three of their last ten games. They are 55-76 overall, 18.5 games behind the Dodgers for first in the NL West. They are six games behind the Padres for third place.

Arizona's offense continues to slip, as they rank 27th in wRC+ (87) and 26th in offensive WAR (10.1), while batting .250/.304/.384 with a .304 wOBA. They're still a tough bunch to strike out, doing so at the eighth-lowest rate in the majors (19.0%). Their pitching staff is no better, ranking 25th in team ERA (4.21), 20th in FIP (3.88) and 25th in pitching WAR (8.5). They actually draw quite a few ground ball outs, ranking fifth in ground ball percentage (46.8%).

Los Angeles' offense is one of the league's best, ranking sixth in wRC+ (105) and third in offensive WAR (21.6), batting .259/.327/.393 with a wOBA of .319. They do quite well once the ball is in play, ranking fourth in the majors in BABIP (.311). They have a strong pitching staff to boot, ranking sixth in team ERA (3.33), third in FIP (3.46) and 14th in pitching WAR (12.3). They strike out opposing batters at the fourth-highest rate in the majors, punching out 8.46 batters per nine innings.

The Dodgers come to Arizona after taking two of three games at home from the New York Mets. They are kicking off a five-game stretch away from Dodger Stadium, where they are 40-26 this season. Los Angeles has split their last ten games overall, and are 4.5 games above the Giants for first in the NL West at 74-58.

Roster Moves

On Sunday, the Dodgers activated shortstop Hanley Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list, and optioned shortstop Erisbel Arrubarrena to Triple-A Albuquerque.

The Return of the Teal and Purple (Sort Of)

Arizona has announced that it will bring the purple and teal look back to the desert in this weekend's series against Colorado, starting with the bobble head of former manager and current color analyst Bob Brenly:

The team has already begun the change, beginning with changing their team website to its original colors. The team did a similar promotion last season, embracing the colors it wore from its inception until the introduction of the "Sedona Red" color scheme that is still in place today.

This is a great look, and one that I thing Arizona should never have let go employ more often in coming years. Long live the teal and purple.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1, Tuesday 6:40 PT: RHP Roberto Hernandez (7-9, 3.78 ERA, 4.38 FIP) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 4.54 ERA, 3.55 FIP)

Hernandez has done a solid job since coming to Los Angeles (1-1, 3.18 ERA in three starts), but got knocked around a bit in his last outing in giving up three runs on eight hits over five innings in a loss to the Padres. He is 4-4 with a 2.94 ERA in his last ten starts overall. Cahill has been on fire of late, going 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in his last four starts. He's lasted six innings or more in his last five starts.

Game 2, Wednesday 6:40 PT: LHP Clayton Kershaw (15-3, 1.82 ERA, 1.84 FIP) vs. LHP Wade Miley (7-9, 4.29 ERA, 4.06 FIP)

Kershaw has undoubtedly been the best pitcher in baseball this season, and has put together a whopping four complete games in his last ten starts. He was stellar in his last outing, giving up a run on three hits over eight innings and striking out ten. However, his worst start of 2014 did come against the Diamondbacks (1.2 innings, seven runs). Miley had command issues in his last appearance but threw 6.2 shutout innings in a no-decision against the Nationals.

Series Pick'em

I think Arizona gets swept in two straight here. Hernandez has pitched well this season, and while Cahill has pitched well of late I don't think he will keep up that trend this season. Kershaw is simply put the best pitcher in baseball, and Miley probably just won't be able to keep up.