The Dodgers have been offensively challenged so far in May, but look to put runs on the board Monday night as they welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town. Jon Garland starts the opener of a two-game series at Dodger Stadium, against Shaun Marcum of the Brewers. Tonight is a battle of two under-.500 teams looking for a springboard into contention in their respective tightly-bunched divisions.
The Dodgers have scored just 34 runs in 13 games in May, an average of 2.62 per game, and that even includes a 10-run outburst last week in Pittsburgh. Luckily they have received superb starting pitching of late, with 20 quality starts in their last 26 games, and a 2.95 collective ERA from the starters in May. Garland is 1-1 in his last four starts with a 2.57 ERA, averaging seven innings per start.
Garland is starting today technically on three days rest, as he started Thursday night in Pittsburgh in a game that was washed away by rain. Garland threw two innings on Thursday before the rains came, and even drove in a run at the plate, but alas those stats will not count. The Dodgers are in the midst of a stretch of 20 scheduled games in 20 days, and moving Garland up to tonight gives the other starters an extra day of rest, beginning with Hiroki Kuroda on Wednesday.
Milwaukee, like the Dodgers, is under .500, though the Brewers have been hot of late. They swept the Pirates over the weekend and have won five of their last six games to improve to 19-21. Milwaukee has had losing streaks of three, four, and seven games this season.
Marcum, acquired from Toronto during the winter, has been stellar this season, with a 4-1 record and a 2.72 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. He has pitched six or more innings in each of his last seven starts.
Expect the Dodgers to be on the short end of power in this two-game series, as the Brewers are tied for third in the National League with 42 home runs, while the Dodgers have been out-homered 24-10 at home this season. The Dodgers won four of six games against the Brewers in 2010, though Milwaukee won two of the three games at Dodger Stadium.
Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.