Mark Ellis 2B
A.J. Ellis C
The Dodgers are off to a red hot start for 2012, and they are currently tops in all of baseball with a 9-1 record. Their schedule has been soft thus far, and they have dominated Pittsburgh and San Diego who are arguably two of the worst teams in the league. The Dodgers first real challenge will come at the hands of Milwaukee as the Dodgers will play a three-game set with the reigning NL Central champions. That also means that we will see Ryan Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, up against the rightful MVP=Matt Kemp. Kemp has started the season off by proving all of his naysayers wrong. So far Matt Kemp is has a beastly .487 batting average, a 1.548 OPS, 6 homeruns, and 16 RBI. Contrastingly, Ryan Braun is hitting .343 with a .943 OPS, 1 homerun, and just 4 RBI. Kemp just received his third consecutive National League Player of the Week Award. He was the recipient of the award for the final week of the 2011 regular season, and he has now captured the honor for the first two weeks of the 2012 season. He is the first player to accomplish a three-peat of the award since it began in 1974. He also won the award for the week of May 4, 2008.
Chad Billingsley will make his third start. Bills has pitched impressively so far this season. In fact I would argue he has pitched the best out of anyone in the rotation thus far. Chad has only allowed one run on 8 hits in his first two starts. He has only walked one batter, and he has whiffed 15 in 14 1/3 innings. Against Milwaukee, Bills has a career record of 2-1 with a 4.54 ERA. Current Brewers are batting .305 against Bills, but none have hit a homerun against him.
Yovani Gallardo, a right-handed pitcher, will go to the mound for the Brewers. Gallardo’s Opening Day start was shaky, but he picked up a win in a good outing versus the Cubs this past Wednesday. Against the Dodgers, Gallardo is 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched. Juan Uribe has hit Gallardo well in the past. In 8 at bats against Yovani, Juan is hitting .375 with a homerun.
After sweeping their entire homestand, the Dodgers will try to capture their seventh consecutive victory. The last time the Dodgers started a season this good was in their World Series year of 1981. The Brewers have not been playing well, and they have lost four in a row. They are 4-6 on the season.
Matt Kemp has a career .276 batting average with two homeruns in 65 plate appearances at Miller Park. Andre Ethier has three career homeruns up in Milwaukee.
Grab a cold one and pull up a chair! First pitch is at 5:10 pm Pacific Time, and the game will be televised on KCAL. Go Blue!