Diamondbacks Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Walker Buehler Makes Final Start Before All-Star Break
Walker Buehler
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers look to get back to their dominant ways against the Arizona Diamondbacks after falling 5-2 on Friday for their first loss of the season in eight head-to-head meetings thus far.

The Dodgers are second in the National League West, two games behind the division-leading San Francisco Giants, with a 54-35 record and have an NL-best +118 run differential.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, hold the worst record in baseball and are the only team to reach the 60-loss mark. They are 26-64 this season with an NL-worst -126 run differential and sit 30.5 games out of first place.

L.A. hands the ball to Walker Buehler, who was just named to an All-Star for the second time in his career.

The 26-year-old right-hander has made 17 starts this season, throwing 108.1 innings with a 2.49 ERA, 3.53 FIP and 2.0 WAR while striking out 8.89 batters per nine innings and walking only 1.99 per nine. Buehler last started against Arizona on June 19 and went 7.1 innings while allowing two runs on two hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks.

The D-Backs have been dreadful against right-handed pitchers this season, hitting .227/.301/.357/ with an 80 wRC+ in 2,253 at-bats.

Arizona counters with southpaw Caleb Smith, who has started eight games this season in 26 appearances. He has thrown 70.1 innings with a 3.45 ERA, 4.27 FIP and 0.5 WAR while striking out 10.24 hitters per nine and walking 4.35 per nine.

Smith last started against L.A. on June 18 and went six innings while allowing no runs on one hit with five strikeouts and four walks.

The Dodgers have struggled against left-handed pitching this season, slashing .226/.313/.398 with a 97 wRC+ in 1048 plate appearances.

One key to watch will be how the Dodgers rebound after a loss against a pitcher who has given them trouble in the past. Smith has started three games in his career against the Dodgers, along with two relief appearances, and has thrown 17 innings with a 2.65 ERA.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Chris Taylor
3B: Justin Turner
2B: Max Muncy
1B: Albert Pujols
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
C: Austin Barnes
P: Walker Buehler

Diamondbacks lineup

2B: Josh Rojas
CF: Pavin Smith
3B: Eduardo Escobar
1B: Christian Walker
RF: Kole Calhoun
LF: David Peralta
SS: Nick Ahmed
C: Bryan Holaday
P: Caleb Smith

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!