After a pair of off days this week, the Dodgers get back to the grind with some rested pitching heading into their weekend series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Kenta Maeda gets the call in the opener, looking to keep his spotless road mark alive.
On the whole, Maeda has allowed five runs in his five starts, which is fantastic on its own. But in both road starts to date, he has kept the opponent off the board, with 12 strikeouts and one walk in 12⅓ innings.
Dating back to 1913, no Dodgers pitcher has started his career with more than two straight scoreless road starts. But for Maeda to separate himself from Eric Gagne, Stan Williams and Ed Reulbach - the others with two straight starts - he will have to subdue a formidable Jays offense.
Sorry, I mean offence.
Toronto has mostly the same cast of characters from its MLB-best offense that scored a whopping 5.50 runs per game in 2015. But even with a 12-run outburst on Thursday, the Blue Jays are at 4.17 runs per game in 2016, down to sixth in the American League.
Jose Bautista is hitting .216/.364/.451. He hit .250/.377/.536 in 2015.
Edwin Encarnacion is hitting .263/.325/.456, after .277/.372/.557 a year ago.
Reigning MVP Josh Donaldson is doing just fine, hitting .283/.391/.611 with nine home runs and eight doubles.
That trio combined for 120 home runs in 2015, and to date has 19 through 30 games this year, on pace for 103. But this is nitpicking, really. Those three have been fine, just a bit down from last year's peak, and will likely be quite productive again going forward.
Old friend Russell Martin is down to .187/.253/.200, though he has consecutive multi-hit games and is 5-for-11 over the last three contests.
Troy Tulowitzki is down to .163/.267/.317, including 3-for-33 in his last nine games.
Maeda will face this offense on a full seven days of rest, but for the foreseeable future will be on standard four days rest, because Friday marks the first day of a 20-game stretch with 20 games for the Dodgers.
It is the maximum allowable consecutive days to schedule games per the collective bargaining agreement, and the 20 games / 20 days test usually is a grind.
The best the Dodgers have done in a 20-game-20-day stretch in the last five years is 11-9.
June 12 - July 1, 2015: 10-10
July 29 - Aug. 17, 2014: 11-9
May 24 - June 12, 2013: 9-11
May 25 - June 13, 2012: 10-10
June 19 - July 8, 2012: 5-15
April 8-27, 2011: 10-10
Time: 4:07 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network