Chris Capuano (0-1 9.64) makes his return to the mound this evening from the DL after an injury from a bench clearing brawl on April 11th in San Diego. Capuano at the beginning of the season was demoted to the bullpen as the Dodgers went in favor with Hyun-Jin Ryu. It's been a long haul for the journeyman who made 33 starts last season which tied Clayton Kershaw for most on the club. The Dodgers are cautiously optimistic that Capuano can put behind a rough first month and pitch himself back into career midseason form, and a successful outing at home against Arizona appears to be the right place to start. Last season Capuano pitched nearly 200 innings and went 12-12 with a 3.72 ERA walking just 54 batters and striking out 162.
The Dodgers are off to another inconsistent start at 13-17, and despite their .257 clip as a club they have not produced as expected hitting just 21 HR and averaging less than 3.5 runs per game. One of the few bright spots include Andre Either who has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 despite hitting just .250 with 3 HR and 9 RBI. Adrian Gonzalez (.337 3 22) is second on LA in hitting and the leader in RBIs while Carl Crawford (.311 4 7) looks to stay healthy off to a good start. However, Matt Kemp continues to struggle hitting just .263 with 1 HR coming off offseason shoulder surgery.
Arizona counters with Trevor Cahill (1-3 2.61) who otherwise has attempted to shake off early game struggles has had some hard luck when it comes to lack of run support. In fact, the bullpen stole another win for him as he pitched into the 9th inning against San Francisco leading 1-0, before JJ Putz gave up a 2 run HR to Pablo Sandoval giving him yet another no decision. On paper this is a balanced Diamondback lineup despite just hitting .248 collectively. Paul Goldschmidt (.295 4 21) leads the way in production but could cut down on his glaring 34K in just 112 AB. AJ Pollock and Eric Chavez both are hitting .260 with 4 HR while collecting some clutch hits in the late innings. However the DBacks could use some more offense from the normally reliable Martin Prado and Miguel Montero who are both off to noticeably slow starts.
The price is nice under the lights at Chavez Ravine. We know Dodger Stadium remains one of the league's pitcher's delights dimension wise, however like last week at San Francisco where the line was low we easily cashed in given the fact the oddsmakers aren't asking for much combined with the fact that both teams have enough of a supporting cast to do some damage in the early part of the lineup. Tonight we look for 5 straight. While so far the early part of the campaign has been nothing short of a see-saw, we aim for a lot more consistency. The opportunity is there given Capuano's familiar position back in the rotation and especially if Cahill gets into trouble early. Best of luck however you play!