The Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged their series against the Milwaukee Brewers, winning the final two games, including a record-setting 21-5 victory on Thursday night.
They now look to carry that momentum into their weekend series at Dodger Stadium against the Houston Astros, which is a rematch of the 2017 World Series. The Astros got the better of Los Angeles in that matchup, defeating them in seven games.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Alex Wood are looking forward to matching up with the Astros once again, even if it’s just for a regular-season series in August.
Wood gets the start in the series opener, squaring off against Astros ace Justin Verlander. Wood has been on a roll as of late, going 6-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last eight starts.
He fared well against the Astros in the World Series, allowing just one hit and one run in 5.2 innings in his Game 4 start. He then tossed two perfect innings of relief in Game 7.
Overall in 21 starts this season, Wood is 7-5 with a 3.68 ERA, 3.51 FIP and 1.17 WHIP while striking out 103 and walking 27 in 117.1 innings. He is the only Dodgers starter that has not spent time on the disabled list this season.
Verlander is among the leading candidates for the American League Cy Young award, coming in with a 10-6 record to go along with a 2.24 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 0.89 WHIP in 23 starts. He has 190 strikeouts compared to just 27 walks in 148.2 innings.
The Dodgers were able to get to him a bit in the World Series though. In his two starts, he went 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA although his 0.58 WHIP was impressive.
Houston is without two of its best players in this series with both Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa being on the disabled list. George Springer was nursing a minor shoulder injury, although he is back in the lineup and leading off on Friday.
Roberts is showing off his lineup versatility as two guys who combined for three home runs on Thursday, Brian Dozier and Yasiel Puig, are out of the lineup with Chris Taylor and Matt Kemp taking their places.
Before first pitch the Dodgers will first honor Andre Ethier with a retirement ceremony. Several of his former teammates have posted warm messages on social media with the hashtag ‘#DreDay’ included.
LF: Joc Pederson
SS: Manny Machado
3B: Justin Turner
C: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Cody Bellinger
RF: Matt Kemp
1B: Max Muncy
2B: Chris Taylor
P: Alex Wood
RF: George Springer
LF: Josh Reddick
SS: Alex Bregman
1B: Yuli Gurriel
3B: J.D. Davis
2B: Marwin Gonzalez
C: Martin Maldonado
CF: Jason Marisnick
P: Justin Verlander
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