LOS ANGELES DODGERS (106-58)
at ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (94-71)
NLDS – Game 3 - Chase Field – Phoenix, AZ
First pitch: Monday, 10:05 p.m. ET
Line: Los Angeles -115, Arizona +105, Total: 9.0
The Diamondbacks will be hoping to avoid a sweep when they host the Dodgers in Game 3 on Monday.
Los Angeles has been absolutely dominant in this series, as the team put up 17 points over the first two games. The Dodgers can definitely use some improvements from their pitching staff, as they have also given up 10 runs in the series thus far. Their concerns are, however, nothing compared to those of the Diamondbacks. If Arizona does not hold Los Angeles to something like four or fewer in this game then this will almost definitely be a sweep. The starters in this Monday night matchup are going to be RHP Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA, 209 K) for Los Angeles and RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA, 215 K) for Arizona. While the Diamondbacks have their ace on the mound in this one, the Dodgers won’t necessarily be feeling like they’re overmatched on the hill here. Darvish has been an ace for almost the entirety of his MLB career, and he is capable of shutting anybody down when he is on. Arizona should be happy to be playing this game at Chase Field, though. The D-backs were 6-3 against the Dodgers in Phoenix this season. One trend worth pointing out in this game is the fact that the Diamondbacks were 15-1 against the money line in home games after having lost two straight to an opponent this season. Los Angeles was, however, an impressive 63-19 against the money line after having won six or seven of its previous eight games on the year.
The Dodgers are sending Yu Darvish to the hill on Monday and the righty should be extremely amped up when he gets out there in this one. Darvish was wasting away with the Rangers for most of the year, but he is now playing for a World Series contender. He’s taking the ball with a chance to close the series out for Los Angeles, and you know that he’d take tremendous pride in pitching the best game of anybody on this staff thus far. Both Kershaw and Hill took their licks at times and Darvish will want to give the Dodgers a brilliant outing here. One thing that works in Darvish’s favor is the fact that he pitched five innings of two-run ball against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Aug. 10. He probably will want to work deeper into this one, but he struck out 10 batters in that game and another performance like that would mean that Los Angeles had a good chance to win. Offensively, two guys the Dodgers will need to come through here are SS Corey Seager and 3B Justin Turner. The two of them have hit Greinke extremely hard in their careers, as they are a combined 13-for-33 with four doubles, three homers and nine RBI against the righty.
The Diamondbacks are facing elimination, which is a big part of the reason they’re sending their ace to the hill on Monday. There is no tomorrow for this Arizona team, so Greinke will need to perform at a high level here. He was not great in the NL Wild Card Game last Wednesday, as he allowed four earned runs in only 3.2 innings of work. Another performance like that will probably result in elimination for the Diamondbacks, so he better bring his best stuff here. It’s worth noting that Greinke did pitch an absolute gem against this Dodgers team recently. He faced them on Sep. 5 and allowed just one earned run in seven innings. He struck out six in that game and would love to have another game like that on Monday. On offense, the Diamondbacks will badly need somebody to come through here. And it’s not like anybody really has against Darvish, as this team has combined to hit just .190 against him. OF J.D. Martinez is likely the guy that will concern Darvish the most, as he has homered off of him and only one other Arizona player has done that. OF David Peralta could also potentially do some damage, as he is 2-for-2 against Darvish in his career.