The Pirates are playing their first of seven games on the road after closing out a productive six-game homestand (4-2). They won only one out of three in their last series against the Brewers, dropping the finale 6-3 on Sunday at PNC Park.
Nick Gonzales was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs. Josh Palacios added two doubles, one run, and one RBI. The Dodgers are back home for a six-game homestand after concluding a six-game road trip (3-3).
They lost two of three against the Royals in their last series, dropping the finale 9-1 on Sunday at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. Miguel Vargas went 1 for 3 with one RBI.
The Pirates have won two of three in the season series between the teams, including a 6-2 victory in their most recent meeting on April 27 at PNC Park. Mitch Keller went six innings for the win, giving up two runs on five hits and striking out 10.
ON THE MOUND
Keller (9-3, 3.34 ERA) is in line to start for Pittsburgh. The right-hander ranks second in the NL in strikeouts (118) and tied for fourth in wins. Keller allowed one run over six innings in his last start, a 7-1 road win over the Padres on Wednesday.
He was credited with the win, yielding four hits while striking out five and walking two. Keller has made one previous start against the Dodgers this season, a 6-2 home victory on April 27.
He surrendered two runs on five hits over six innings, striking out 10 and walking one. For Los Angeles, LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-4, 2.55 ERA) takes the mound.
It’s his first appearance of the season against the Pirates. In his last start on Tuesday, Kershaw got the win on the road against the Rockies. He threw six scoreless innings and gave up one hit, striking out two and walking one in the 5-0 victory. The lefty is tied for the NL lead in wins and is fourth in ERA.
AT THE PLATE
The Pittsburgh offense is averaging 4.3 runs per game for the season, with a slash line of .241/.318/.392. Jack Suwinski leads the team in OPS at .849. The right fielder is slashing .228/.351/.498 with 17 home runs, 42 RBIs, and 36 runs over 73 games.
Over the last five games, however, Pittsburgh has averaged 6.2 runs a game due in part to increased slugging (.429). Against lefties like Kershaw this season, the Bucs have a .744 OPS.
Rodolfo Castro is the team’s most potent producer against left-handers with a .934 OPS in 90 at-bats. Los Angeles is slashing .242/.329/.446 for the season and averaging 5.4 runs per game, fourth best in MLB. Four Dodgers hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Freddie Freeman (.936).
The first baseman has 14 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 65 runs scored with a slash line of .318/.398/.538. Los Angeles is averaging 7.2 runs per game in the last five with a better slash line (.293/.385/.448).
The Dodgers have a .776 OPS against righties in 2023. With a .904 OPS over 228 at-bats, Freeman also has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Pittsburgh is 17-23 in away games in 2023, scoring 4.3 runs per game while allowing 4.3 runs. Los Angeles has gone 24-15 in front of their home fans this season, averaging 5.3 runs per game while surrendering 4.1. Los Angeles is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings at Dodger Stadium with an average scoreline of 4.9-3.6.
The Pirates are third in the NL Central, four games behind the division-leading Brewers. The Dodgers are second in the NL West, three games behind the Diamondbacks.
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