The rich just keep getting richer in the case of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who continue to win and add pieces to the roster while having the luxury of giving some of their best players plenty of time off. The Dodgers will try to wrap up another series sweep and continue their march toward the best regular season in baseball history when they visit the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Los Angeles is still without ace Clayton Kershaw (back) and just placed No. 2 starter Yu Darvish (back) on the 10-day disabled list but watched Hyun-Jin Ryu fire off five scoreless innings in Saturday’s 3-0 win while the offense received boosts from Curtis Granderson and Adrian Gonzalez. Granderson, who was acquired from the New York Mets on Friday night, made his debut and scored a run in the win while Gonzalez, who was activated off the 60-day DL on Friday, contributed an RBI for the second straight day. While the Dodgers (87-34) remain on pace to challenge the MLB record of 116 regular-season wins, the Tigers (53-69) are losers of six straight and 12 of 14 and own their worst winning percentage (.434) since the 2003 squad went 43-119. Detroit will try to avoid the three-game sweep behind former MVP Justin Verlander while Los Angeles counters with righty Kenta Maeda.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, SportsNet Los Angeles, FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11)
Maeda is 5-0 in his last six starts and surrendered one or no earned runs in five of those turns. The outlier came last Sunday, when the Japan native allowed four runs - three earned - and four hits on 5 1/3 inning while striking out eight against San Diego. Maeda is seeing Detroit for the first time in his career and is 4-2 with a 3.25 ERA in seven interleague starts.
Verlander had a string of seven straight starts yielding three or fewer earned runs come to an end at Texas on Tuesday, when he was knocked around for five runs on eight hits in six innings. The Virginia native fanned eight in that turn and owns 24 strikeouts in 21 innings over his last three turns. Verlander is 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career interleague starts, including a win in his lone previous appearance against Los Angeles.
1. Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger left Saturday’s game in the seventh inning after twisting his ankle and is day-to-day.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera (543) needs one more double to tie Derek Jeter for 33rd place on the all-time list.
3. Los Angeles optioned CF Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Granderson.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 6, Tigers 4