Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM
Monday's NL Tip Sheet
Dodgers (-140, 8 ½) at Diamondbacks – 9:40 PM EST
Through 60 games, the team with the best record in baseball is the same one that represented the National League in the World Series the last two seasons. The Dodgers (41-19) finished off a 6-1 homestand against NL East foes, capped off by a three-game sweep of the Phillies to improve to 25-7 at Chavez Ravine.
Los Angeles allowed three runs in each of the first two wins against Philadelphia before blanking the Phillies on Sunday, 8-0 as hefty -180 favorites. The game was actually closer than the final score indicated as the first run didn’t come across until the seventh inning. The Dodgers busted things open in the eighth inning for seven runs to give a nice assist to run-line backers, highlighted by Joc Pederson’s 18th home runs of the season.
The Diamondbacks (30-30) started the weekend in poor form after getting swept at Colorado in a four-game series, capped off by three losses by one-run apiece. The woes continued in Friday’s 5-4 defeat to the Mets after allowing two late runs to extend the cold streak to five. It looked the losing skid would reach six games on Saturday in a battle of aces between Zack Greinke and Jacob deGrom as the Mets jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning. However, the D-backs rallied for four in the bottom of the eighth before walking off in the 11th for a 6-5 triumph.
Arizona carried that momentum in Sunday’s matchup with New York as the D-backs hit a pair of first inning home runs to cruise past the Mets, 7-1. Right-hander Merrill Kelly bounced back from consecutive poor outings to put together his best start of the season by striking out 10 in 7.2 innings of work. Arizona picked up only its fourth home series victory in nine tries this season, but the D-backs enter Monday’s matchup with a 7-2 record in series openers at Chase Field.
Dodgers’ right-hander Walker Buehler was bailed out in a walk-off win over the Mets last Wednesday as he allowed five earned runs in five innings of work. Los Angeles dug out of an 8-3 hole to stun New York, 9-8 thanks to four runs in the ninth inning as the Dodgers have scored 19 runs in Buehler’s last two starts. The Dodgers have split Buehler’s six road starts this season, while giving up five runs in only three innings against Arizona on March 31 in an 8-7 victory.
Robbie Ray went through a four-start stretch in May in which he yielded a total of six runs as Arizona went 3-1. However, the D-backs’ southpaw was tagged for five runs in less than five innings of work in a 5-4 defeat at Colorado last Wednesday to suffer his first loss since April 3 at San Diego. The D-backs have split four home starts made by Ray this season, while Arizona beat Los Angeles, 5-4 in 13 innings the last time the left-hander faced the Dodgers on March 29.
Phillies (-125, 7 ½) at Padres – 10:10 PM EST
In spite of suffering their first sweep this season, the Phillies (33-26) still sit atop the NL East. Philadelphia traveled to Los Angeles following back-to-back series wins over St. Louis and Milwaukee, but the Phillies limped out of Chavez Ravine with three consecutive losses. The offense mustered fewer than three runs for the fourth straight game, as Philadelphia slipped to 1-18 the last 19 contests when posting three runs or less.
Philadelphia is in the midst of its longest losing skid of the season following Sunday’s 8-0 shutout by Los Angeles. The Phillies did their best to hold the Dodgers off the scoreboard as the game was scoreless through six innings, but L.A. attacked Philadelphia’s bullpen for eight runs, wasting a solid start by Nick Pivetta, who struck out nine batters in six scoreless innings. Philadelphia entered the series on a five-game winning streak in Game 1’s prior to the 6-3 setback on Friday night.
The Padres (30-29) cruised past the Marlins on Friday night in a 5-2 victory at Petco Park, but Miami captured the final two meetings for the series win. Since San Diego posted a five-game winning streak capped off by a 19-4 destruction of Toronto May 25, the Padres have slipped to 2-5 the last seven contests, while scoring nine runs in the five losses.
Aaron Nola has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball since allowing 17 runs in his first four starts. The Phillies’ right-hander has yielded 14 earned runs in his past eight starts combined, while Philadelphia has won each of Nola’s last six outings. The latest victory came against the Cardinals last Wednesday in an 11-4 rout as a -175 home favorite as Nola allowed one run in seven innings, marking his sixth start giving up one run or less.
Eric Lauer counters for the Padres, as the southpaw has been sharp since getting tagged for eight runs in three innings of a 12-2 setback at Colorado on May 10. In the past three starts, Lauer has given up four runs (three earned) as the Padres are 3-0 in this stretch. The more recent win for Lauer occurred last Wednesday at Yankee Stadium in a 5-4 triumph as a +170 underdog, while San Diego has won each of his past two starts at Petco Park against Pittsburgh and Arizona.
The Padres and Phillies are meeting for the first time this season as the two squads split six meetings last season. San Diego took two of three matchups at Petco Park, but Nola beat the Padres as a -185 road favorite, 5-1 for the lone Phillies’ win in that series last August.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.