The Los Angeles Dodgers look to continue their winning ways on Wednesday when they host the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the World Series.
Making his third start of the postseason is Rich Hill, who is coming off an impressive start against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Hill allowed one run in five innings against his former team, striking out eight batters while yielding just three hits.
Thus far in the postseason, Hill owns a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in nine innings with 12 strikeouts to four walks. Hill will have a tough task at hand against the top-ranked Astros lineup but per usual, the veteran doesn’t plan on altering his game plan.
“I mean, really at the end of the day it’s about attacking and staying convicted in your approach,” Hill explained. “You get to this point and it’s not about changing your game plan or doing something different, right?
“You’ve done your homework, you’ve prepared throughout the entire season to get to this point. It’s not about changing your game plan, it’s not about going too far away from what has made you successful.”
The Astros counter with Justin Verlander, their late, waiver-trade deadline acquisition that has thrived with his new club. In four starts during the playoffs, Verlander has pitched to a 1.46 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 24.2 innings.
His performance in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees — a 0.56 ERA and 0.75 WHIP over 16 frames — earned him MVP honors.
“I think the mental focus [in the postseason] is just another level. It’s unsustainable throughout the course of the regular season,” Verlander said. “If you were that mentally focused, you’d just burn out. It’s just another level.”
Verlander is undefeated since joining the Astros, posting a 5-0 record during the regular season and adding four more in the postseason. Verlander, who last faced the Dodgers in August as a member of the Detroit Tigers, will lean on that outing to prepare for his Game 2 start against them.
After returning to the lineup by batting sixth in Game 1, Corey Seager is moved up to his typical No. 2 spot. Austin Barnes receives another start behind the plate, while Joc Pederson gets the nod over Andre Ethier in left field, and Chase Utley is at second base.
Save for Verlander, the Astros are sending out the same lineup from Game 1. George Springer is looking to shake off an 0-for-4 with four strikeouts effort.
CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Joc Pederson
C: Austin Barnes
2B: Chase Utley
P: Rich Hill
CF: George Springer
3B: Alex Bregman
2B: Jose Altuve
SS: Carlos Correa
1B: Yulieski Gurriel
C: Brian McCann
LF: Marwin Gonzalez
RF: Josh Reddick
P: Justin Verlander