After getting Thursday off, the Yankees are set to be back in action as they continue their West Coast road trip in Los Angeles. Starting tonight, the Yankees are set to take on the Dodgers in a three-game set.
While not as far out ahead as they have been in past seasons (particularly their 111-win 2022), the Dodgers are once again atop the NL West — although they only tied with the Diamondbacks as of right now — as they look for a 10th division title in 11 seasons. Their pitching has dealt with injuries, but is still anchored by Clayton Kershaw. Their offense’s 319 runs scored in the most in the NL, as they feature a strong lineup including the likes of perennial MVP candidates Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts.
Meanwhile for the Yankees, they’re set to get some important pieces back, as Giancarlo Stanton, Tommy Kahnle, and Josh Donaldson are all traveling to Los Angeles for this weekend.
Before these two storied franchises take the field tonight, let’s look at the expected pitching matchups for this weekend.
Friday: Luis Severino vs. Clayton Kershaw (10:10 pm ET)
This will be Severino’s third start since returning from injury, and the first two went pretty well. He’s struck out 10 batters and allowed just two earned runs in 11.1 innings, helping the Yankees to two wins. The Dodgers do represent a bigger test than the rebuilding Reds and a struggling Padres ballclub, though.
This will be the Yankees’ first matchup against Kershaw since August 25, 2019, when he struck out 12, but was reached for three runs in seven innings in a Yankees win. Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, and (naturally) Mike Ford went deep off the future Hall of Famer that day. Although Kershaw has strong numbers on the season, he has struggled a bit in his last couple games, having allowed eight earned runs in 8.2 combined innings
Saturday: Gerrit Cole vs. Michael Grove (7:15 pm ET)
After a ridiculously good April, Cole’s meh May continued in his last start against the Padres. The home run bug got to him again, as he allowed two more. That brought his total for May to eight after not allowing any in April; ideally he brings back that month’s form in June. This will be his first game against a Dodgers team since 2018, when he was still a member of the Astros.
Facing off against him will be Grove, who will be making just his 12th career big league appearance. With injuries in their pitching staff, the Dodgers have given their second-round pick from the 2018 draft four starts this season, and they haven’t gone great so far. Grove has an 8.44 ERA, a 4.66 FIP, and has allowed opposing hitters to OPS .879. Now, a decent chunk of that all came in one game against the Diamondbacks, where he gave up nine runs in 3.1 innings. However in 45.1 career innings dating back to last year, the righty’s ERA hovers just under six.
Sunday: Domingo Germán vs. Bobby Miller (7:10 pm ET)
Germán returned from his “sticky stuff” ejection suspension against the Mariners on Monday, and while he got the win, he did allow four runs in 6.1 innings. Before that, he had put in a solid couple starts, but well, you know: he got ejected for sticky stuff, whether or not he actually was using anything illegally.
The rookie Miller made his MLB debut back on May 23rd after having come into this season as a Top 25/Top 30-ish prospect in all of baseball. So far, the right-hander has lived up to that hype, having allowed just a pair of runs in 11 innings across two starts. While one of them was against the Nationals, his debut was a very nice outing against a talented Braves ballclub—arguably the Dodgers’ top rival for the NL pennant.