Both teams entered the four-game series coming off of sweeps -- St. Louis against Chicago, Los Angeles against New York. After the Dodgers took the first game in sweltering St. Louis on Monday night, extending their win streak to five, the Cardinals will attempt to even the series with one of their aces on the mound.
Wainwright hasn't pitched as well this season as he has in recent years, but he has a good track record against the Dodgers. He has held the team's best hitter, Matt Kemp, to a .100 (2-for-20) lifetime average.
The starter is coming off one of his most successful outings of the season. He allowed one earned run on four hits over seven innings against the Brewers on Wednesday while striking out nine.
"He comes out and just gets nastier. That's Adam," manager Mike Matheny said after his last outing. "That's why he's got so much respect in here -- for a number of reasons -- but certainly as a pitcher, he makes pitches when he has to."
If Wainwright carries over the momentum from that start, his opposition certainly won't back down. Kershaw is fresh off of an eight-inning, one-run start against Lee and the Phillies.
He allowed five hits and struck out seven in a no-decision. He is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in his last 10 games and was dominant against the Cardinals on May 19.
In his only meeting against St. Louis this season, Kershaw threw a shutout while only allowing six hits.
"You just try to establish your fastball, and they were showing that they were going to swing at it, a lot," he said after the win. It's a game of adjustments."
"We'll see them again, hopefully," Kershaw added.
He gets his wish again on Tuesday night.
Cardinals: Team shuffling lineup lately
Matheny has recently been shuffling around Lance Berkman, Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran, which has required some creativity on his part. Berkman is working his way back after a knee injury, Craig is battling a sore quad and Beltran is getting a day off every now and then.
"We knew that going into this, that that's how it was going to be," Matheny said. "We've just really been kind of looking forward a couple games, seeing how it plays out, how the matchups look and trying to figure out where each guy's gonna fit and who gives us the best shot each night."
Matheny said they lobby for playing time -- and he always listens.
"As long as they understand, which they do, that we all have the same common goal here with what we're trying to accomplish," he said. "I think they all get it, too. We're in a nice situation where we have healthy players and we've got to find a way to keep everybody sharp and get everybody playing time at the same time. It's a little bit of a different situation because most of the guys want to go every day. And that's a good thing. We want them to go every day, but we're gonna have to be creative in how we get them all in there."
Dodgers: Kennedy contributes when opportunity arises
Veteran infielder Adam Kennedy hasn't gotten to regularly play much this season, but he has contributed when he has gotten chances lately.
Kennedy went 1-for-4 with a run in Monday's series opener and he has hits in 11 of the 14 games he has appeared in during July.
"He's really had good at-bats," manager Don Mattingly said. "Early on he wasn't swinging good, didn't have good at-bats, but he's gotten better. He's good at second and third, I trust him at either place, and he gives me a lefty bat. With where I'm at at third base, he gives me a rotation [Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairston]."
Kershaw is 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 54 strikeouts in nine career starts against the Cardinals.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is 8-for-23 lifetime against Wainwright, while right fielder Andre Ethier is 8-for-25 with a pair of homers.