By the Numbers: Diamondbacks face Kershaw in Game 1 of NLDS
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ reward for defeating the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card game is a date with the 104-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS.
The series will begin Friday night with Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. D-backs manager The team announced Taijuan Walker will be the starter.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will take the baseball and face Arizona.
Kershaw is familiar with the D-backs and the D-backs are familiar with him. Something will have to give.
When the D-backs swept the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium during the team’s franchise record-setting 13-game winning streak, the D-backs did not face Kershaw.
Here is a deeper look at how Kershaw has fared against the Diamondbacks, by the numbers.
Kershaw has made 26 career starts against the Diamondbacks, his fourth-most against any opponent behind the San Francisco Giants (40), Colorado Rockies (38) and San Diego Padres (32).
In 162.2 career innings versus Arizona, Kershaw has given up 46 earned runs, 131 hits and 10 home runs with 187 strikeouts against 51 walks.
Kershaw compiled a 0.59 ERA in two starts against the D-backs this season, both at Dodger Stadium.
In 15.1 innings pitched, the three-time NL CY Young Award winner gave up one earned run and six hits. The southpaw struck out 19, walked three and did not surrender a home run.
Among teams Kershaw faced more than once this season, his ERA against the D-backs is the lowest.
Kershaw pitched to a 2.58 ERA in Los Angeles this season compared to a 2.03 ERA away from home.
In 14 starts at home this season, Kershaw has actually given up more runs (28 to 21), earned runs (26 to 19), and home runs (14 to 9) compared to his 13 road starts, although he did compile more innings at Chavez Ravine (90.2 to 84.1).
Kershaw gave up 13 earned runs in the month of September, the most of any month this season.
In 33.2 innings pitched, the left-hander compiled a 3.48 ERA and gave up 35 hits in 33.2 innings pitched. Kershaw’s earned runs total topped his previous high for a month of 11 back in May.
Kershaw has not exactly performed his best in the postseason. In 18 career games (14 starts), the 29-year-old is 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA.
In nine divisional series starts, Kershaw is 3-3 with a 4.01 ERA, and he even recorded a save in Game 5 of last season’s clincher against the Washington Nationals.
D-backs right fielder J.D. Martinez is a career .375 hitter in 10 at-bats off Kershaw with one home run and 3 RBI.
The Dodgers could start three lefties in the series. Martinez hit .376 against southpaws this season and finished first among all major league hitters in OPS against lefties (1.356).
In 209 career at-bats against Kershaw, current D-backs hitters have only hit five home runs. Not only does Paul Goldschmidt have the most experience against Kershaw (44 at-bats) but he has the most home runs with two.
The Diamondbacks’ first baseman also has the most hits (10), RBI (8) and the most strikeouts (17) of any D-backs current hitter against Kershaw.
D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta enters the division series with a .424 career on-base percentage against Kershaw.
Iannetta has batted second a lot against left-handers this season. If he can get on base ahead of Goldschmidt and Martinez, that could present a problem for Kershaw and company.
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