Dodgers Vs. Rockies Game Preview: Miguel Vargas Makes 1st Start Since Recall

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue their four-game road trip with another matchup against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Shohei Ohtani is batting in the leadoff spot with Will Smith moved up to the second spot for the second straight game and first time against a left-handed pitcher, which was expected with Betts out.

The main change against a southpaw comes in the form of Miguel Vargas, who is starting in left field for the first time since being recalled. Chris Taylor also gets an opportunity at second base for just the second time this season. Generally against southpaws, Rojas or Betts have filled in at second base this year.

Walker Buehler is on the mound in what could be a pivotal matchup for him. Since returning from his second Tommy John surgery, the right-hander has struggled, pitching to a 4.64 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 33 innings with just 29 strikeouts.

Buehler acknowledged he would give himself some leeway in his first few starts back and estimated it would take him roughly seven to nine outings to to start getting back on track. He is now making his eighth start, and the results have yet to follow.

Buehler did show some promise by adjusting his pitch mix in his outing against the Texas Rangers, essentially dropping his four-seam fastball, which has been by far his worst pitch. However, his four-seam has been his go-to offering throughout his career, and went back to it in a big spot, which resulted in a three-run homer from Corey Seager and a Dodgers’ loss.

If Buehler stays away from his fastball, he should find some better results against the Rockies, but his lack of swing-and-miss stuff limits his upside.

The Rockies counter with Austin Gomber, who has also not had a great season. The southpaw owns a 4.26 ERA and 1.32 WHIP across 69.2 innings with 49 strikeouts.

He faced the Dodgers on June 2, allowing three runs over three innings with five hits and two home runs allowed. Over his career, Gomber has pitched to a 4.82 ERA in 552.2 innings.

Dodgers lineup

DH: Shohei Ohtani
C: Will Smith
1B: Freddie Freeman
RF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: Andy Pages
SS: Miguel Rojas
3B: Kiké Hernández
LF: Miguel Vargas
2B: Chris Taylor

Rockies lineup

DH: Charlie Blackmon
CF: Brenton Doyle
SS: Ezequiel Tovar
3B: Ryan McMahon
1B: Michael Toglia
LF: Nolan Jones
C: Hunter Goodman
RF: Jake Cave
2B: Alan Trejo

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