The Milwaukee Brewers are facing the Los Angeles Dodgers at a bad time, but it’s tough to think of a good time to face the majors’ best team. The record-setting Dodgers have 91 wins heading into Saturday’s matchup against the visiting Brewers, who were held to one hit in Friday’s 3-1 loss and remained three games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
Kenta Maeda tossed six strong innings and Yasiel Puig belted his 23rd homer Friday as the Dodgers improved to 56-11 since June 7. The Dodgers plan to have a bullpen game on Saturday with Josh Ravin, Edward Paredes and Tony Cingrani all backing up spot starter Ross Stripling, who is expected to pitch three or four innings and throw about 40-50 pitches. The Brewers are 3 1/2 games behind Colorado for the second NL wild-card spot and need more production from right fielder Ryan Braun, who is 3-for-26 over the last seven games. Domingo Santana provided the lone highlight Friday with a solo homer to lead Milwaukee, which has scored a total of seven runs over its last four contests.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Zach Davies (14-7, 4.09 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Ross Stripling (3-4, 3.41)
Davies recorded his sixth quality start in his past seven outings last Monday, allowing two runs over six innings in a 2-0 loss to San Francisco. The 24-year-old owns a 7-3 record and 2.65 ERA in his last 11 outings while giving up a total of three home runs over that stretch. Adrian Gonzalez is 4-for-9 against Davies, who has gone 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three career starts against Los Angeles, including six scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory on June 4.
Stripling will move into the rotation to start in place of Alex Wood, who landed on the 10-day disabled list last Tuesday with a left shoulder injury. Stripling is making his first start for the Dodgers this season after switching between the rotation and bullpen in 2016, going 5-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 22 games (14 starts). The 27-year-old native of Texas owns a 6-5 record and 3.80 ERA in 28 career games (eight starts) at Dodger Stadium.
1. Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday and could rejoin the rotation next weekend.
2. Braun is two homers away from 300 for his career.
3. Dodgers LHP Grant Dayton will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and could miss the entire 2018 season.
PREDICTION: Brewers 6, Dodgers 4