MLB - US Sports: LA Dodgers @ Milwaukee Brewers preview
A rare defeat to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday meant that the Los Angeles Dodgers' winning run ended at 12 but this won't stop their surge towards the playoffs as Major League Baseball's best team.
The Dodgers travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in a four-game series and while Los Angeles has been dominating their opponents in recent weeks, the same can't be said for the Brew Crew.
They have given up their lead in the National League Central Division and won only four of their last 10 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers versus Milwaukee Brewers, Game One of Four
American Family Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
01:10 BST Tuesday 16th August 2022
How to watch
MLB.TV; bet365's live streaming service
LA Dodgers 2.50, MIL Brewers 1.58
Dodgers march towards Playoffs
The Los Angeles Dodgers are 4.00 to win the World Series and reclaim the championship they won in 2020. The recent 12-game winning streak was one shy of a franchise record, but the Dodgers lost only their sixth game since 29th June.
It was a season-low two hits in a 4-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals and only the fifth time the Dodgers have been shut out this season and first since 27th June.
It was an impressive winning run for Los Angeles as they outscored their opponents by 60 runs in those 12 games with an average margin of victory of five runs during the stretch.
They won all of those games by multiple runs, the first team to do so since the 1922 Pirates did it in 13 straight games.
The Dodgers are still on pace to break the franchise's single-season wins mark of 105 set in 1953, when they were based in Brooklyn. They will look to bounce back and become the first team to 80 wins this season when they open this series with the Brewers.
Second baseman Gavin Lux spoke to MLB.com after the loss to the Royals and said: "It's baseball, you're not going to win the next 50 games in a row, so I think we were due for one.
"We'll just get it back tomorrow (Monday) and face another good Brewers rotation."
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Brewers have gone flat
The Brewers have hit a roadblock at the moment. They have just lost an important series (1-2) to their divisional and NL Central championship rivals, St Louis Cardinals.
The defeat helped the redbirds improve their lead over the Brew Crew to one and a half games. So what's going wrong for Craig Counsell and his team?
The Brewers recently lost series to bottom clubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.
They defeated the playoff chasing Tampa Bay Rays in a two-game series, which Brewers fans thought that they were getting their club back on course. This series loss to the Cardinals is a disappointing blow.
All three games in the series followed a season-long pattern of mostly close games with a slim margin of error between the two top teams in the NL Central.
The Cardinals now hold an 8-7 season series lead over the Brewers and nine of those games have been decided by two runs or fewer.
The rivals meet four more times this season with two games in St.Louis in mid-September and two games in Milwaukee in late-September.
Those games could be the deciding factor between playing postseason baseball or watching from home since there are no more tiebreaker games and the winner of the head-to-head series will be declared the division champion if they end the season with identical records.
The Brewers fans were left disappointed by the Trade Deadline when they traded the best closer in MLB in Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres in exchange for four players.
They received Taylor Rogers in direct exchange for Hader and he blew the game versus the Cardinals on Sunday, and in effect the series, as he gave up a pair of home runs.
Milwaukee is 19.00 to win the NL Central Division.
On the mound
The Dodgers will send Julio Urias to the mound for game one of the series. The 25-year-old has a 12-6 record with a 2.49 ERA.
The Brewers will have Freddy Peralta throwing their first pitch, the 26-year-old has a 4-2 record with a 4.37 ERA.