The Los Angeles Dodgers will begin a three-game series against the New York Yankees Friday evening at Dodger Stadium in a matchup of the teams with Major League Baseball’s two best records.
The Dodgers enter the series on a three-game winning streak that has improved their record to 85-44, including 51-16 at home, increasing their lead over the Yankees in the race for MLB’s best record to two games. The Yankees have lost four straight, dropping their record to 83-46.
Home-field advantage for the World Series goes to the team with the better record.
The Dodgers are in the midst of one of the best regular seasons in their history. Their .761 winning percentage at home is among the best all-time and would currently be the best since their move to Los Angeles in 1958, topping the 2017 club’s .704 mark on a 57-24 record. The franchise’s best home winning percentage is .779, established in 1953 when they played in Brooklyn.
Their 225 home runs are 10 behind matching their franchise record set last year.
Their 20 1/2-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks is a half-game off the biggest lead at any point of the season, which was set on several dates in August 2017.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch for the Dodgers against James Paxton in a matchup of left-handers. Ryu’s 1.64 ERA is the best in MLB.
The Yankees are making their first appearance at Dodger Stadium since 2013.
The series coincides with the third annual Players’ Weekend, in which players will showcase their backgrounds and interests by putting their own personal touches on what they wear and equipment they use during Players’ Weekend, most prominently with nicknames on the backs of their jerseys.
Nicknames chosen by Dodgers players include Funky Muncy (Max Muncy) and Jerk-Store (Jedd Gyorko). Joc Pederson will have a crown emoji on the back of his jersey while Ryu will have his name in Korean characters.
Players also have the opportunity to design, wear and use creatively colored and decorated equipment including bats, spikes, batting gloves, wristbands, compression sleeves and catcher’s equipment.
For the first time on Players’ Weekend, there will be an expansion of mobile device usage. Prior to the national anthem, players will be permitted to use their personal hand-held mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, on the field or in the dugout to promote the event via social media.
Another Players’ Weekend first is players wearing specially designed monochromatic all-black and all-white uniforms created specifically for the weekend-long event. The home team has the first choice, with the Dodgers selecting to wear white. Pitchers on teams wearing white uniforms will wear black caps to ensure all umpires and batters have clear visibility of each pitch.
The 2019 Players’ Weekend will be the first MLB event with a league-wide batting helmet. The same Rawlings helmets used in all regular-season games will be decorated in matte black and matte white to further accentuate the white-on-white and black-on-black uniforms.
Players’ Weekend is the only time the Yankees have had anything other than numbers on the backs of their jerseys.
Game-worn, authenticated Players’ Weekend jerseys and batting helmets will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions, with all proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.
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