Clayton Kershaw is starting to make a case for repeating as the National League Cy Young Award winner. If he can keep it up, the Los Angeles Dodgers could wrap up a series victory in a key four-game road clash with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Dodgers have won the first two games of the series behind strong pitching performances – and now they hand the ball to their ace, who is in search of his fourth straight win.
No matter who has taken the mound, the Dodgers have dominated the series, winning all five meetings this year and eight straight dating to last season. Their 11-0 win Tuesday was their most lopsided victory since routing Pittsburgh 15-1 on Sept. 18, 2011. The Pirates had the best home record in the majors before losing six of their last eight at PNC Park.
Dodgers Pirates Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, KCAL, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.88 ERA) vs. Pirates LH Wandy Rodriguez (7-11, 3.91)
Kershaw retired 14 straight at one point in Friday’s win at Miami, in which he struck out seven and allowed just three hits. He has racked up seven or more strikeouts in 10 of his last 12 starts, including three straight. Kershaw is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts against the Pirates, including a no-decision April 10 in which he held Pittsburgh to one run over seven innings.
Rodriguez is still looking for his first win with the Pirates, but he hasn’t pitched poorly in the black and gold. He has lasted at least six innings in all three starts since the Pirates acquired him from Houston, including a pair of quality starts. Rodriguez shut out the Dodgers for seven innings April 22 with Houston, improving to 5-4 with a 2.21 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) against Los Angeles.
1. Dodgers OF Shane Victorino is riding an eight-game hit streak and has hit safely in 10 of 12 games since being acquired from Philadelphia. Victorino is 4-for-14 against Rodriguez.
2. Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen still leads the majors with a .359 average, but he has seen his margin steadily shrink in August. McCutchen ended July hitting .371, but he is 13-for-49 (.265) in 13 games this month.
3. Dodgers OF Matt Kemp has recorded multiple hits in five of the past six games and has 27 multi-hit contests in the 65 games he has played this season. Kemp is 5-for-21 with a homer against Rodriguez.