Blue Jays Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: J.D. Martinez Returns To The Lineup

After a frustrating extra-innings loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers welcome back J.D. Martinez to their lineup for the second game of the series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers lost a game where they went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base. That further highlighted being without one of their top bats in Martinez, who missed two games due to left hamstring tightness. Martinez is in the midst a resurgent season, batting .263/.313/.568 and smashing 24 home runs in 80 games.

Martinez and the Dodgers look to provide run support for Julio Urías, who has been a tale of two pitchers in 2023. He is 7-6 with a 5.02 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, and historically has pitched well in the second half.

However, Urías gave up eight runs over five innings in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles despite turning in a scoreless performance against the New York Mets in his start before that. In a contract year, Urías’ struggles have left question marks about his future beyond this season.

The Blue Jays counter with Chris Bassitt, who is 10-5 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. The nine-year veteran has pitched well recently, coming off of a start where he threw six innings of shutout ball against the San Diego Padres. Over his last three starts, Bassitt has given up five earned runs in 16 innings and collected 14 strikeouts.

Bassitt has eight different tracked pitches in 2023, but he throws his sinker the most, at 39.4% of the time. He mixes that with a cutter, curveball, sweeper, four-seam fastball, changeup, slider and split-finger. The last three of those Bassitt throws under 10% of the time.

Among Dodgers who have experience against Bassitt, Miguel Rojas is the surprising name, as he is 5-for-10. David Peralta and Max Muncy have hit home runs against Bassitt in their respective careers. Overall, Muncy has homered in three consecutive games.

Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman enters with an MLB-best 24-game on-base streak.

Brandon Belt, who spent the majority of his career as a member of the San Francisco Giants, has faced Urías plenty and batted .318 against him with two home runs.

The Dodgers are coming off of back-to-back losses, but still lead the National League West by four games. This is largely in part to the Arizona Diamondbacks going 2-8 over their last 10, and the Giants being 4-6 during that same stretch.

Dodgers lineup

2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: J.D. Martinez
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas

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