The Los Angeles Dodgers went 6-3 on a long road trip out of the All-Star break and now get to spend an extended stretch at Dodger Stadium, starting a nine-game homestand with a series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Dodgers impressed against the New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, winning the first two games of each series. They outscored opponents 63-34 on the road trip, with their only hole in those games being lack of starting pitching depth.
They begin their homestand against a Blue Jays team that is 6-4 in their last 10 games. At 55-45, the Blue Jays are fighting for a Wild Card spot as they sit in third place of the American League East.
“It’s good to be home. It feels like a long time. It was quite some time if you kind of layer on the All-Star break,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“We got in a decent hour, guys seem like they’re in a good spot, and it’s always fun playing somebody you don’t play very often. This should be a good test. I kind of sound redundant when I say that, but (José) Berríos has a good arm. He’s tough on right-hand hitters, so this will be a good test for us.”
The Blue Jays are led by a fairly balanced offense versus defense. Toronto ranks 15th overall in runs scored and are seventh in ERA. Their starting rotation is their best attribute, as the Blue Jays have four starters whose ERA+ is over 100, including Kevin Gausman, who strikes out 12 batters per nine innings.
The Blue Jays start José Berríos, who is 8-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The right-hander has been good in his last three starts, giving up only three earned runs in 18.1 innings. Berríos throws his slurve and sinker equally at 29% of the time. He also throws a four-seam fastball and changeup around 20% of the time.
Offensively, Bo Bichette leads the Blue Jays in batting average and has 16 home runs to go with it. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team in home runs with 17, and they have a total of seven hitters in their lineup who are rated as above league average in OPS+.
The Dodgers are without one of their best hitters in J.D. Martinez, who was a late scratch on Sunday due to left hamstring tightness. Martinez has 24 home runs this season in his 80 games and has an OPS+ of 130.
Michael Grove takes the mound for the Dodgers with a 2-2 record, 6.40 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He has been hit hard almost all season, but shown recent signs of improvement. Grove is 2-0 in his last two starts and pitched five innings of one-run ball against the Orioles his last time out.
The Blue Jays are playing at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2019.
2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
DH: Max Muncy
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jason Heyward
SS: Chris Taylor
CF: James Outman
3B: Yonny Hernández
Blue Jays lineup
RF: George Springer
DH: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
1B: Brandon Belt
3B: Matt Chapman
2B: Whit Merrifield
LF: Daulton Varsho
C: Alejandro Kirk
SS: Santiago Espinal
CF: Kevin Kiermaier
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