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Series Preview: Welcome to Hollywood

The kids are going Hollywood, the Blue Jays are set to begin a three-game series with the Dodgers. Most of the young players on this team haven’t even been to Dodger Stadium even as a fan before. So, this series should show just how ready these kids are for the spotlight at the major league level.

The Dodgers are also currently one of the best teams in the league. They’ve recorded the most runs, home runs, RBI’s and produced the highest OPS in the NL this season. Their pitching staff has also performed as one of the best staffs in the league this season as well. As they currently own the lowest ERA, WHIP and OPP AVG in the NL this season. Which means the Blue Jays could find it very tough to even win a single game during this series against the Dodgers.

Tuesday at 10:10 ET

Sean Reid-Foley severely struggled with his command once again during his latest outing. During his start against the Rangers, the 23-year-old threw 88 pitches through just three and 1/3 innings. Reid-Foley also allowed a trio of free passes during his fourth start since being recalled from triple-A as well.

Internally, the Blue Jays have had some discussions about using an opener in front of Reid-Foley in this start against the Dodgers. But, it appears that they’ll push that idea to the bench for now. The Dodgers have created the most walks of any team in the NL this season. So, Reid-Foley will need to find a way to not only keep the ball in the ballpark, but also limit his walks as much as he can in this start.

This is the worst time of the season for the Blue Jays to be facing Clayton Kershaw. The former-MVP has been extremely dominant over his last two starts. Kershaw has pitched a combined 14 innings and has allowed just one run on six hits and has struck out a total of 19 batters as well.

Kershaw has struggled at times with his command this season. But, the 31-year-old appears to have found the command of his pitches over his last two starts, as he’s allowed just a single walk over that time. For the Blue Jays, they’ll need to find a way to limit the number of strikeouts against Kershaw. As they’ve recorded the 3rd-most strikeouts in the AL since the All-Star break.

Wednesday at 10:10 ET

Jacob Waguespack certainly put his poor start against the Yankees behind him during his latest outing against the Mariners. The 25-year-old went five and 1/3 innings and gave up just two runs on five hits and struck out five as well. Waguespack wasn’t able to locate his pitches in the strike zone during his previous start. Which made his performance against the Mariners so much more impressive.

However, this start against the Dodgers will be another big test for Waguespack. The Dodgers have gone down on strikes the 3rd-fewest among teams in the NL this season. So, Waguespack will have to find a way to generate a lot of groundballs just like he did during his dominant start against the Rays earlier this month.

Walker Buehler has acted like a thermometer this season. The 25-year-old has either been really good or really really bad through his 23 starts this season. Buehler’s latest start is a perfect example of how inconsistent he’s been at times this season. Coming into that start, Buehler had allowed just one run and created a combined 23 strikeouts over his previous two starts.

But, the 1st-round pick back in 2015 then gave up five runs on five hits along with three walks against the Marlins. Although, Buehler has performed considerably better at home this season. He’s recorded a 2.33 ERA, 0.818 WHIP and a .196 OPP AVG through his eleven starts at Dodger Stadium.

Thursday at 10:10 ET

Unfortunately, Trent Thornton hasn’t been able to record a win since Aug 1. The 25-year-old definitely performed well enough to deserve a victory during his latest outing against the Mariners. Thornton pitched six innings and surrendered three runs on five hits. While Thornton did allow four walks in this start, he limited the damage by only allowing five hits.

Thornton has pitched six innings in three of his last four starts. Which is something the Blue Jays will need him to do once again if they’re going to be successful in this game. But, Thornton will also need to limit the number of walks during this game as well, since the Dodgers’ hitters have done such a great job at creating walks this season.

Kenta Maeda has really struggled to pitch deep into games this season for the Dodgers. The Japanese-born pitcher has failed to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his last six starts. Although, that hasn’t stopped the 31-year-old from creating a lot of swings and misses.

Maeda has produced five or more strikeouts in five of his last six starts. But, Madea has also given up at least one extra-base hit in four of his last five starts as well. Which means the Blue Jays’ hitters will need to stay disciplined at the plate and capitalize on bad pitches to be successful in this game.