Preview: Walker Buehler Makes First Career MLB Start As Dodgers Welcome Marlins To Dodger Stadium
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally look to have returned to their 2017 form, winning six of their last seven games, including two out of three against the Washington Nationals over the weekend.

They look to continue that trend on Monday night when they welcome former manager Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series.

Monday’s game is a big one for the Dodgers, as their top prospect Walker Buehler is making his first career Major League start. Buehler saw his first big league action last September, although it was in an unfamiliar relief role.

In eight appearances out of the bullpen, Buehler struggled to a 7.71 ERA and 2.04 WHIP with 12 strikeouts and eight walks in 9.1 innings of work.

He has looked good so far this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City though, posting a 2.08 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in three starts while striking out 16 and walking four in 12 innings. In just his second full season coming off Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers plan to limit Buehler’s innings this season which is why he began the season in the minors.

The Marlins counter with a young left-hander in Jarlin Garcia, who is off to a good start to the 2018 season. In four appearances (two starts), Garcia has gone 1-0 with a 0.86 ERA, 4.11 FIP and 0.81 WHIP.

His strikeout rate is a bit low however, as he has only struck out 13 batters while walking 11 in 21 innings.

Yasmani Grandal comes into the game swinging a hot bat, ranking fourth in the National League with a .349 batting average and carrying a career-best 11-game hitting streak.

One big improvement that Grandal has made this season is his ability to hit left-handed pitching, posting a 1.153 on-base plus slugging percentage as a right-handed hitter against southpaws which previously was a big struggle for him in his career.

Dodgers lineup:

CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Kiké Hernandez
LF: Matt Kemp
1B: Cody Bellinger
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
2B: Austin Barnes
3B: Kyle Farmer
P: Walker Buehler

Marlins lineup:

1B: Miguel Rojas
C: J.T. Realmuto
2B: Starlin Castro
3B: Brian Anderson
LF: Cameron Maybin
RF: J.B. Shuck
CF: Lewis Brinson
SS: Yadiel Rivera
P: Jarlin Garcia