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The Toronto Blue Jays (54-45) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (57-40) are set to begin an intense three-game series starting Monday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers will look to stay hot as they have only lost two games since the All-Star break.
While both teams have been extremely impressive thus far, only one will come out of this series victorious. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET and you can watch it nationally on ESPN+.
Toronto comes into this matchup just 4-4 since the All-Star break with losses to San Diego and Seattle. Jose Berrios is getting the start on the mound for the Blue Jays. Berrios is coming off of a loss to the Padres where he pitched six innings and gave up only four hits and two earned runs. However, he managed to accumulate nine strikeouts which was a season-high.
In his last three starts, he has posted a 1.47 ERA. The Blue Jays are going to need another great performance from Berrios, combined with hot bats to take down one of the best-scoring offenses in the MLB.
Los Angeles will enter Monday night’s game with a ton of momentum, winning 10 of their past 12. This includes statement victories against Baltimore and Texas.
The Dodgers have arguably been the team to beat for the last few weeks as the batters have been delivering. Michael Grove is in line to start this game for Los Angeles. Grove’s last outing was July 18 against a very good Orioles team where he only gave up five hits and one earned run in five innings of work.
The Dodgers are making another second-half push like they do year after year. Even though the Blue Jays have the team to beat Los Angeles, they define inconsistency. We believe it’s too tall of a task for Toronto to win the series opener. They haven’t played consistently since before the All-Star break began.
The Dodgers' last two wins were 16-3 and 11-5 wins over the Texas Rangers. If any team can keep up this pace, it’s Los Angeles. Look for them to take an early lead and continue stacking on runs.
Jose Berrios has been a viable starting option this season. He enters this game with an 8-7 record and a 3.39 ERA. Berrios has pitched 18.1 innings in the month of July and has given up three total runs in those games against the Padres, Diamondbacks, and White Sox.
He had a couple of rough games toward the end of June where he pitched 16 innings through three games and gave up eleven runs.
The 2023 Michael Grove campaign has a mixed bag. Some nights he is on and other nights he struggles to find the zone. However, he has turned it around to some extent. He has a 2-2 record in 2023 with a 6.40 ERA and 47 strikeouts through 52 innings of work.
Grove has been far from great, but in his last game against a stout Orioles offense, he managed to shut them down and help lead his team to a 10-3 win. The 26-year-old right-hander will look to build off his most recent performance and work to get his team another win.
Regardless of how the Dodgers have been playing, they cannot afford another implosion on the mound by Grove. If he is able to keep his composure, Toronto could have a tough time hitting the baseball. We expect Berrios to get put under fire early as the Dodgers have hit every pitcher in sight as of late.
The Blue Jays are currently third in the toughest division in baseball, the AL East, behind the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Baltimore Orioles. While only 6.5 games back from the first-place Orioles, they have a tough mountain to climb.
With the Rays and the Orioles surging, the Blue Jays will need to go on a run to have a chance to win the AL East. Toronto is the sixth-best in the league in batting average (.261), and fourth in the league in hits (887). for the Blue Jays hasn’t been the problem.
Toronto is one of the oldest offensive teams in the league with an average age of 29. The Blue Jays' pitching hasn’t really been an issue either as their team ERA ranks seventh in the league (3.85) and fourth in the league in strikeouts (937).
The only issue you can make with this team is that the pitchers and the batters do not quite click at the same time. If they can surge together, it’s going to make for an extremely interesting race for the division crown.
Los Angeles is currently leading the NL West by only four games over the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers always seem to be in the World Series conversation and are once again. If they can keep their pace from July, this team should have no problem taking this division and making a deep run at yet another championship.
The Dodgers' pitching has been below average this year, ranking 17th in the league in ERA (4.39), while ranking only 19th in strikeouts (818). Los Angeles’s pitching has been down this season, but the offense has shined.
Freddie Freeman and the rest of this offense has been top-five in the league. The Dodgers are second in home runs (161), second in RBI (534) and second in total runs (534). When your team produces runs like the Dodgers, it lightens the load on the entire pitching staff.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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