Diamondbacks vs Dodgers Series: Players to Watch
By Guillermo Salcido
The Arizona Diamondbacks are getting ready to embark on a key series against an NL West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are the current division leaders and hold a 3 game advantage over the Diamondbacks. Although the season is still young, a series victory could propel Arizona to some vital momentum in a competitive division.
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The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are both coming off series victories with Los Angeles defeating San Francisco and Arizona defeating Colorado. In their victories, both clubs exhibited great offensive capabilities. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, their once-stacked outfield is now with Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford, due to injury.
Regardless, both teams feature players that are capable of carrying a ball club, not that it would be advised. With Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Archie Bradley and Josh Collmenter not listed as probables, look for the bats to take over the series.
Players to Watch
Apr 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) looks on after scoring in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona)
Goldy completely dominated Colorado pitchers earlier this week. Goldschmidt went 9-for-14 with 4 doubles and a couple of extra base hits. Any time Kershaw and Greinke are not on the schedule is reason enough to celebrate, but expect Goldschmidt to make his mark against some of Los Angeles depth starters.
To start the 2015 campaign, Goldy is hitting .338 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI. In his first two games against the Dodgers this season, Goldschmidt went 4-for-8 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI. One of those home runs came off of Brett Anderson, who’s the probable starter for Sunday’s tilt.
Apr 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 12-5. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Trumbo (Arizona)
Trumbo is another Diamondback that broke through in the Colorado series. He went 7-for-12 with 5 RBI and 4 extra base hits. One of the games includes a 4-for-4 effort in which he was only a double away from the cycle.
Trumbo currently sports a healthy .319 with a couple of home runs and 11 RBI. In two contest against the Dodgers this season, Trumbo is 3-for-8 with an RBI.
Apr 26, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Yasmany Tomas (24) at bat during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Yasmany Tomas (Arizona)
Diamondbacks faithful have to be pleased with the production that Tomas showed earlier this week. In the Colorado series, he went 4-for-10 with 4 RBI. Those numbers include a clutch bases-loaded, 2-run single that opened up the decisive game.
Tomas was called up after the first series between Los Angeles and will be facing them for the first time in his career. The first two pitchers to face off against the Diamondbacks are right-handers, which Tomas is hitting 7-for-17 off of.
Apr 13, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) follows though on a double in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners in an interleague game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Adrian Gonzalez (Los Angeles)
Earlier this season, Gonzalez made all MLB headlines by hitting 3 home runs in a game against San Diego. Gonzalez has been able to keep pace with his hot start as he’s accumulated 8 home runs this season, tops in the National league.
In the series against Arizona, Gonzalez went 4-for-10 with only 1 run and no RBI. He’s only 3-for-19 in his career against Jeremy Hellickson, Saturday’s starting pitcher. However, 2 of those 3 hits are home runs.
Apr 24, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson (31) hits an RBI sacrifice fly during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The Dodgers won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Joc Pederson (Los Angeles)
The young center fielder has drawn rave reviews around the league and will now be leaned on with a heavier work load thanks to injuries to a couple of Los Angeles outfielders. The young season has seen Pederson sport a .298 batting average and has seen him flex his muscles to the tune of 4 home runs.
In the earlier series against Arizona, Pederson had the best game of his young career. On April 12, Pederson went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. With no left handers on slate for the Diamondbacks, Pederson could return to the top of the lineup.
Apr 27, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) follows through on a run-scoring single in the third inning as San Francisco Giants catcher Andrew Susac watches at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Howie Kendrick (Los Angeles)
Throughout his career, Kendrick has been praised as a pure hitter and a source of consistency. 2015 has been no different. The career .292 hitter is currently hitting .295 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI in the 2015 season.
The Diamondbacks were able to contain Kendrick during their first meeting. He only went 2-for-12 with no runs or RBI. Friday’s starter, Rubby De La Rosa, has struggled mightily against Kendrick. Kendrick’s career numbers against him are 5-for-9 with a home run.