After going 3-3 on their road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers return home for the start of a highly anticipated two-game Interleague series against the Houston Astros.
It’s the Astros’ second visit to Dodger Stadium since their 2017 World Series cheating scandal was uncovered, and first with fans in attendance. The teams split a two-game set at Minute Maid Park in May.
At 64-43, the Dodgers enter play trailing the first-place San Francisco Giants by 3.5 games in the National League West. Meanwhile, the Astros are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the best record in the American League at 64-42.
Tuesday’s opener could be a pitcher’s duel featuring Walker Buehler and Lance McCullers Jr. The former is fresh off NL Pitcher of the Month honors for July after going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over five starts.
Buehler tossed seven shutout innings in his last outing against the San Francisco Giants, and overall on the season, is 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA, 3.13 FIP and 0.90 WHIP over 135.2 innings pitched across 21 starts.
In two career starts against the Astros, Buehler owns a 1-0 record, 4.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 11 strikeouts across nine innings pitched.
McCullers is in the midst of an excellent season as well, entering Tuesday at 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA, 3.39 FIP and 1.22 WHIP over 97.2 innings pitched (17 starts).
The right-hander picked up a win in his last start against the Seattle Mariners after allowing four runs on six hits across six innings pitched with eight strikeouts.
McCullers holds a 1.64 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in two career starts against the Dodgers. He started for the Astros in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium, though didn’t factor into the decision as he lasted just 2.1 innings.
Droves of Dodgers fans invaded Minute Maid Park for the series earlier this season, and have been anticipating giving the Astros a harsh welcoming to Dodger Stadium.
Prior to the game the Dodgers recalled Zach Reks and optioned Yefry Ramirez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Brusdar Graterol was also recalled, with Edwin Uceta going on the 10-day injured list because of a right back strain.
Mookie Betts experienced some soreness following his return from the IL and therefore is starting at second base once again.
2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
C: Will Smith
CF: Chris Taylor
RF: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
P: Walker Buehler
2B: Jose Altuve
RF: Michael Brantley
LF: Yordan Alvarez
SS: Carlos Corea
1B: Aledmys Diaz
CF: Kyle Tucker
3B: Robel Garcia
C: Martín Maldonado
P: Lance McCullers Jr.
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