Dodgers Vs. Red Sox Game Preview: Series Rubber Match To Conclude Road Trip

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are set for a rubber match after splitting the first two games of their weekend series in what has felt like one big reunion at Fenway Park, which has added some extra motivation for each team.

With the Dodgers in Boston, both Mookie Betts and Kiké Hernández made their returns to the historic ballpark for the first time since being traded.

So too has Ryan Braiser, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox earlier this year. And it would have been a reunion for J.D. Martinez as well had he not been placed on the 10-day injured list.

On the Red Sox side, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen and Alex Verdugo all got to see their old teammates, and former Dodgers prospect Connor Wong has also made an impact in the series, although it was not in the manner the Red Sox wanted from him.

That extra motivation has shown up this series, with Betts and Hernández contributing to the Dodgers’ victory on Friday before Verdugo and Turner helped lead the Red Sox to a win the following day.

The Dodgers have won seven consecutive series as they have all but wrapped up another National League West crown with a 12-game division lead. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are fighting for their playoff hopes as they sit 3.5 games out of the third Wild Card spot and 12.5 games back of first place in the American League East.

The Dodgers are giving the start to Caleb Ferguson, who is working as an opener for the fourth time this season. While working as a starter, Ferguson has given up one run on six hits over three innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

Gavin Stone is with the Dodgers after being added to the active roster. He is expected to pitch the bulk of the game, whether that is immediately following Ferguson or entering later.

Bryan Hudson was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City as the corresponding move to Stone being recalled.

With Tony Gonsolin out for the season, the Dodgers have not yet named a replacement starter and have instead relied on Ryan Pepiot and now Stone to eat the majority of the lost innings.

Stone made his MLB debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 3 and struggled in his four games with the Dodgers, pitching to a 12.75 ERA and 3.00 WHIP. Stone’s struggles continued when he returned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, but he has since won Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week during a stretch in July and again in August.

The Red Sox counter with Tanner Houck, who made a name for himself last season while appearing to be the right-handed version of teammate Chris Sale.

Houck has struggled this year to a 5.08 ERA in 72.2 innings with 66 strikeouts and a 1.27 WHIP, but he has been far better in his career, posting a 3.70 ERA across 218.2 innings with 230 strikeouts and a 1.17 WHIP. However, most of Houck’s success has come as a reliever throughout his career as he’s pitched to a 2.68 ERA out of the bullpen.

With the day game after a night game, Austin Barnes draws the start behind the plate to give Will Smith a day off. Michael Busch is also back in the lineup as the designated hitter.

Rafael Devers is not in the Red Sox lineup as he deals with swelling and soreness after being hit by a pitch in his right wrist.

Dodgers lineup

2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
LF: David Peralta
3B: Max Muncy
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: James Outman
DH: Michael Busch
SS: Miguel Rojas
C: Austin Barnes

Red Sox lineup

RF: Alex Verdugo
DH: Justin Turner
LF: Adam Duvall
1B: Triston Casas
SS: Trevor Story
2B: Pablo Reyes
CF: Wilyer Abreu
C: Connor Wong
3B: Luis Urías

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