Rangers @ Dodgers June 13, 2021: Dunning vs. Buehler in pitchers’ duel?

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

After Trevor Bauer shat the bed last night against the lowly Rangers, the Dodgers are looking to take the rubber game of this 3-game interleague series. Walker Buehler gets the ball for LA, while Dane Dunning gets the call for Texas.

1:10 p.m. Los Angeles
SS Kiner-Falefa CF Betts
LF Calhoun SS Lux
CF García 2B Taylor
RF Gallo 1B Beaty
1B Lowe LF Pollock
2B Solak 3B McKinstry
3B Holt RF Raley
C Heim C Barnes
P Dunning (R) P Buehler (R)

Buehler is making his 13th start of the season, and he’s been kinda flying under the radar. He owns a 2.56 ERA, 3.66 FIP and a 19.6 K-BB%. His strikeouts have been down a bit this season, as he’s running a career-low 24.3 K% (8.38 K/9, if you’re into that sort of thing). A quick peek at his other numbers shows his average velocity is down across the board.


This could explain his lack of strikeouts (compared to his career), but it isn’t like he’s getting hit terribly hard otherwise. His average exit velocity against is 89 MPH — down 1 MPH from last season, and his average launch angle is down almost 6 degrees. Despite that, his FIP is would be the highest of his career (full seasons only) , yet his ERA would be the lowest. This might warrant a deeper dive, but Buehler is still getting outs, even if his numbers are a bit off from what we’ve come to expect. Luckily for him, he’ll be facing a Rangers’ offense that’s in the bottom-third of baseball in a lot of categories: wRC+, OPS, runs scored, SwStr% and more.

Dunning, acquired from the White Sox in the Lance Lynn trade in December, is also making his 13th start of the season. He has pitched to a 4.26 ERA, but a very healthy 2.92 FIP. He’s good at keeping the ball in the yard (4 HR in 57 IP) and can miss some bats. He has faced a lot of strong offenses (Anaheim, Houston, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Toronto), so his numbers might be skewed in the negative direction a bit more than they could be.

The Dodgers are running out a Jim Tracy-esque lineup on this Sunday. Coincidentally or not, Dave Roberts played with the Dodgers while Tracy was manager. Justin Turner is getting a planned day off, while Cody Bellinger is still ailing a bit (but available to pinch-hit). The only true regulars in the lineup are Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor. Let’s see how this goes.


Getting Corey Seager back sooner than expected would be quite good. Still, let’s hope the Dodgers don’t rush him back.

I honestly didn’t expect Corey Knebel back this season.

Speaking of all the injuries…

Eric is truly the best.


If it goes that way again, let’s hope it’s in the Dodgers’ favor.


First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.