The Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off their six-game Interleague stretch on a strong note, slugging their way to a 16-3 blowout victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Tuesday’s opener at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers improved to 83-44 with the win and inched a little closer to officially clinching a seventh consecutive National League West title. Entering Wednesday, their magic number to do so stands at 17 games.
As for the Blue Jays, the loss dropped to them to 52-76 on the year. They are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak and find themselves near the bottom of the American League East standings, ahead of only the last-place Baltimore Orioles.
In position to win yet another series, the Dodgers send Walker Buehler to the mound for his 23rd start of the season. He looks to bounce back from an uncharacteristically rough outing against the Miami Marlins.
In four innings of work, Buehler allowed five runs on five hits in what amounted to just his third loss of the year. It was his shortest start since a four-inning performance against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11.
The right-hander enters with an overall 10-3 record, 3.31 ERA, 2.99 FIP and 1.03 WHIP this season. He has struck out an impressive 166 batters compared to issuing only 26 walks in 141.1 innings pitched.
Wednesday marks Buehler’s first career outing against the Blue Jays. He’s 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in four starts against American League teams.
Toronto counters with old friend Wilmer Font, who pitched for the Dodgers over parts of the 2017-18 seasons. The right-hander made nine Major League appearances for the organization, posting a 12.86 ERA, 9.30 FIP and 2.14 WHIP in 14 innings of work.
Font has gone on to pitch for four other MLB teams since departing Los Angeles at the start of the 2018 season. He has found his groove for the Blue Jays after struggling in separate stints with Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets earlier in the year.
In nine appearances for Toronto (five starts), Font has posted a solid 2.45 ERA, 2.67 FIP and 0.98 WHIP over 18.1 innings pitched. He has put up an efficient 24-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his brief time with the organization.
In 19 overall games this season, the 29-year-old has compiled a 3-3 record, 4.41 ERA, 4.73 FIP and 1.26 WHIP with 66 strikeouts against 21 walks across 63.1 innings pitched.
As a starting pitcher, Font has pitched to a 3.02 ERA and 1.10 in 41.2 innings of work (13 career starts). He hasn’t fared quite as well when pitching out of the bullpen, as evidenced by his 6.81 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 48 relief appearances.
RF: Joc Pederson
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
SS: Corey Seager
C: Will Smith
CF: Chris Taylor
LF: Matt Beaty
P: Walker Buehler
Blue Jays lineup:
SS: Bo Bichette
2B: Cavan Biggio
RF: Randal Grichuk
1B: Rowdy Tellez
3B: Brandon Drury
LF: Billy McKinney
CF: Teoscar Hernandez
C: Resse McGuire
P: Wilmer Font