Dodgers @ Mariners Aug. 17, 2018: Buehler vs. LeBlanc

After snapping a five game losing streak via walk-off against the Giants, the Dodgers (65-57) travel to Seattle to take on the surprisingly strong Mariners (70-52). The Dodgers will send rookie Walker Buehler, whose relatively limited workload points towards him staying in the starting rotation for the remainder of the year as Dustin pointed out on TBLA earlier today. The Mariners will send lefty Wade LeBlanc, who has been solid for Seattle. This will be the 29th game ever played between these two teams, with the Dodgers leading the all-time series 15-13. The Dodgers haven’t played at Safeco Field since 2012, in a series they won behind Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley. Good times.

Dodgers
Mariners
7:10 PM
Seattle
2B
Dozier
RF
Haniger
3B
Turner
2B
Cano
SS Machado
DH
Cruz
CF
Bellinger
LF
Span
DH
Kemp
3B
Seager
RF
 Hernandez
1B
Healy
1B
Muncy CF Maybin
C
Grandal
C
Zunino
LF
Pederson
SS
Gordon

The Dodgers send what is probably their strongest overall lineup, with Matt Kemp, arguably their worst defender as the DH which makes sense. Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Cody Bellinger all start against the left-handed LeBlanc who is running reverse splits this year. Of all 124 starters with at least 80 IP, here’s how LeBlanc and Buehler matchup:

In regards to the platoon splits, LeBlanc is allowing a .760 OPS and 4.18 FIP against LHB vs. a .677 OPS and 4.10 FIP against RHB on the year. LeBlanc tops out at about 88 with his fastball, mixing in a cutter, changeup and curveball. Averaging 86.3 MPH on his fastball, LeBlanc is the softest throwing qualified MLB pitcher. Buehler on the other hand has been the opposite, averaging 96.0 MPH with his fastball to great success. Buehler is coming off one of his best starts of the year, allowing only four hits over seven innings in Colorado which is impressive for anyone, let alone a rookie. Hopefully the Dodgers don’t repeat the last series opener they had in Seattle in which they were no hit by a group of six Mariners.

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In other news, the Dodgers drastic inflammation problem continues. Erik Goeddel was moved to the 10-day DL to reinstate Daniel Hudson.

Kenley Jansen is hopeful to return Monday after meeting with doctors, and it looks like we can expect to see Kenta Maeda in the ninth closing out games until Jansen returns.

Josh Fields and Yimi Garcia look to be nearing their respective returns as well.

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First pitch is at 7:10 PT.

About Allan Yamashige

Allan Yamashige
Just a guy living in Thousand Oaks, CA who happens to love the Dodgers and statistics. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about adults doing baseball is alright.