The Dodgers interleague all turf road trip continues north of the border as the Dodgers find themselves in Toronto, Canada opening up a three game series against the Blue Jays at the Roger’s Center. So put on your Royal Canadian mounted hat and grab some Canadian bacon, pull up a chair because it’s bound to be a great series of disappointment for us Dodgers fans. The Dodgers haven’t played in Toronto since the summer of 2013. If I remember correctly the Dodgers were in the midst of their 42-8 run back then. Man how I miss those days. That was such a great club. What a far cry from the bums of 2016, but I digress.
The Dodgers will probably have Justin Turner DH some more in this series, and Carl Crawford can’t even look at the turf because he’ll get hurt instantly. Saturday morning’s game (afternoon in Toronto) will feature Clayton Kershaw against old man R.A. Dickey, and Sunday’s match-up will see Ross Stripling taking on right hander Marco Estrada.
Dodgers Lineup @ Toronto
Game time – 4:10 PM TV- SNLA
Tonight’s pitching match-up will pit Kenta Maeda against right hander Marcus Stroman. Maeda had been pushed back so that he could get some extra rest and face more right handers. Maeda has been generally excellent despite having a career worst outing last time against Miami back on April 28. He allowed four earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched in that start. Overall Maeda is 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA in five starts. He’s struck out and walked just 6 while allowing 6.8 hits per nine. Maeda is a true pitcher that mixes his pitches well and changes speeds. Of course Maeda has never faced the Blue Jays, and I wonder if he has ever even been to Canada eh?
The Blue Jays will counter with Marcus Stroman. The 25-year old right hander is out of Medford, New York and selected in the first round of the 2012 draft by the Jays. He made his MLB debut in 2014, and pitched very well. In 2014 he was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 20 starts. He whiffed 111 and walked 28 in 130.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately a torn ACL in his knee sidelined him for much of the 2015 season. He was only able to pitch in four games that year. He was still very good again, posting a 4-0 record, a 3.54 FIP and a 1.67 ERA. Stroman is having another stellar season in 2016. He is 4-0 with a 3.77 ERA in six starts this season. Stroman has a career 3.15 FIP and a 7.8 hits per nine rate. He has allowed just 13 career home runs.
He has 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 43 innings pitched. Stroman is one of only six MLB pitchers under 5’10 to start a game. Stroman is listed as 5’8 and 180 pounds. Stroman has a big arsenal of pitches. He throws a two- and four seamer that can touch in the mid 90’s, and has a curve, change, cutter, and slider. He’s never faced the Dodgers and there is only one Dodger to have ever had experience facing him and that’s Howie Kendrick who is 2 for 3 with a run batted in.
The Dodgers enter the series with a 14-14 record and are in a three-way tie with the Giants and Colorado for first place in the NL West. The Giants are 15-15 and the Rockies are 14-14. The Blue Jays are just as mediocre as well. They are also 15-15 and sit in third place in the American League East, three games behind Boston. They have also won three in a row. Toronto is 8-8 at home and the Dodgers are 9-6 on the road. The Blue Jays are having a problem with their offense. It’s not as prolific as it has been over the past couple of seasons. They rank 22 out of the 30 MLB clubs with a .237 average and eight in home runs with 35.
Interesting fact, Edwin Encarnacion leads MLB with 31 career home runs in May.
Make sure you come back over here after the game to check out our nightly recap. Let’s hope the Dodgers don’t embarrass themselves on an international scale. I think you know what I am talking aboot. Get it? Aboot?!