Freeway Series Preview: Shohei Ohtani Returns To Angel Stadium; Jason Heyward Scratched From Dodgers Lineup

The Los Angeles Dodgers were shut out on Monday, falling 6-0 to the Los Angeles Angels but now turn to the conclusion of the Freeway Series at Angel Stadium as the final tune-up game before the regular season.

The Dodgers play on Tuesday, then have one day off before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals in the Dodger Stadium opener on March 28.

The series finale features James Paxton making his second start of Spring Training. The veteran left-hander didn’t travel with the Dodgers for the Seoul Series, instead staying in Arizona.

Although there isn’t a specific injury designation for Paxton, the Dodgers are likely to ease Paxton into the mix. His upside lies in where he was in 2023 prior to some injuries, when he posted a 2.73 ERA, 3.63 FIP with a 0.98 WHIP in his first 10 starts.

With the Dodgers, he slots into the latter part of the starting rotation on a one-year contract. Paxton explained that he’s feeling great, physically, and is excited about contributing to a re-tooled starting rotation.

He’ll square off against Angels right-hander Chase Silseth, who has been impressive this spring with a 1.08 ERA, 0.84 WHIP across 8.1 innings pitched (three appearances; two starts).

The 23-year-old has pitched in parts of two seasons for the Angels, figuring to be a key part of their starting rotation during the upcoming season. This past year, Silseth carried a 3.96 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and a .212 batting average allowed in 52.1 innings.

He shifted to a starter full-time toward the middle part of the 2023 season, posting a 3.21 ERA in seven starts after rejoining the club in late July.

Silseth will face a Dodgers lineup built to dissect right-handed pitchers. That of course is by the big three of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani.

For Ohtani, it marks his first start in Angel Stadium as a member of the Dodgers after spending the first part of his career in Anaheim.

Expect to see a number of Dodgers prospects in Tuesday’s game, with eyes set on ending Spring Training with a clean bill of health for the roster. Kyle Hurt and Jared Karros are expected to pitch.

Jason Heyward was scratched from the Dodgers lineup and replaced by Chris Taylor.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Mookie Betts
DH: Shohei Ohtani
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
RF: Teoscar Hernández
CF: James Outman
LF: Chris Taylor
2B: Gavin Lux

Angels lineup

3B: Anthony Rendon
RF: Aaron Hicks
CF: Mike Trout
LF: Taylor Ward
2B: Brandon Drury
1B: Nolan Schanuel
DH: Miguel Sanó
C: Logan O’Hoppe
SS: Zach Neto

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