LOS ANGELES -- The Milwaukee Brewers will do everything they can to increase the possibility that their weekend series at Dodger Stadium is a playoff preview.
Milwaukee faces the daunting task of a matchup against a dominant Los Angeles club on Friday in the opener of the three-game series, and it comes where the Dodgers play their best.
The Brewers (66-62) are three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and 3 1/2 back of the Colorado Rockies for the second NL wild card.
With a victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday, the Dodgers (90-36) reached 90 wins quicker than at any point in club history. In doing so in their 126th game, they easily bested the previous franchise mark of 131 games set by the 1942 and 1953 clubs. The 1953 team was previously the fastest to do it by date, reaching the mark on Aug. 31.
Los Angeles is a seemingly impossible 51-14 at Dodger Stadium. Not only have the Dodgers gone 12-1 in their past 13 home games, but they are 30-4 at Chavez Ravine going back to June 7. They have six-, eight- and 11-game home winning streaks during that span.
The Dodgers are also 19-0-3 in their past 22 series overall.
The Brewers will send right-hander Chase Anderson to the mound Friday.
Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) will be making his second start since coming off the 10-day disabled list after recovering from a left oblique strain. He pitched well Sunday at Colorado, earning the victory after giving up one run in five innings.
"The key is, can we get him back to form?" Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, according to MLB.com. "I've said this: We're going to have to go on a run to get to the playoffs this year. (Playing) .500 is not going to be good enough for the rest of the year. And Chase is going to be a part of that. Him pitching well makes you hopeful that we can."
Anderson is 1-3 with a 5.67 ERA in eight career starts against Los Angeles (39 2/3 innings). He has not faced the Dodgers this season, but he was 0-2 against them with a 17.05 ERA against them last year after giving up 12 earned runs over 6 1/3 innings.
It does not figure to get that bad for Anderson this time around, although some warning signs exist.
Despite playing in what has always been known as a pitchers' park, the Dodgers are third in baseball in runs scored at home with 344. The two teams ahead of them play in what are decidedly hitters' parks: Colorado (387) and Texas (373). Los Angeles is also fourth in the NL in home slugging percentage (.465) and OPS (.810).
The Dodgers give the ball to right-hander Kenta Maeda (11-5, 3.88 ERA). After a slow start to the season, the second-year pitcher out of Japan is on a roll, having gone 7-2 with a 2.83 ERA in his past 10 starts.
He was again terrific through five innings of his last outing at Detroit on Sunday, retiring all 15 batters he faced. But in what has become a somewhat familiar occurrence in Maeda's first two years with the Dodgers, moving past the fifth inning proved difficult. He was tagged by the Tigers for four runs on five hits in the sixth inning.
"Kenta's stuff was good," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Kenta, really, through five innings, was electric, was very good. The slider, the fastball, the curveball, everything he had was working, and it was good to see him go out there and compete."
Maeda faced the Brewers earlier this season, before his hot run began. On June 4 at Miller Park, Maeda gave up two runs and two hits over four innings, needing 92 pitches. He was charged with the loss in a 3-0 setback.
Maeda is 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers, and he has limited Milwaukee hitters to a .193 batting average.