Preview: Matt Beaty Makes 2020 Debut In Dodgers-Astros Series Finale
Matt Beaty, 2020 Spring Training
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a bit of payback for the 2017 World Series on Tuesday night, defeating the Houston Astros, 5-2, in the opener of a two-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The series finale was supposed to feature a pitching matchup of two former Cy Young Award winners and MVPs in Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander, although both veterans are now on the injured list so it will instead be two rookies in Dustin May and Cristian Javier squaring off.

May filled in admirably for Kershaw on Opening Day on short notice, allowing just one run in 4.1 innings in addition to seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks in a game the Dodgers won against the San Francisco Giants.

He made 60 pitches in that game and should be able to extend his pitch count a little more against the Astros.

Javier is making his first career Major League start and second appearance after tossing a scoreless inning out of the bullpen on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. The right-hander pitched in 26 games (18 starts) across three levels in 2019, going 8-3 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP with 170 strikeouts and 59 walks in 113.2 innings.

The 23-year-old will likely be followed by young pitchers as well as the Astros currently have seven rookies in their bullpen due to various injuries. They have the difficult task of facing a Dodgers lineup that may be rounding into form after earning 10 hits and six walks in the series opener.

Mookie Betts had his best game as a Dodger against the Astros, going 2-for-4 with a double, walk and RBI. He started off slow in the team’s first series against the San Francisco Giants, although as a former MVP and four-time All-Star, it was expected that he would break out at some point.

Also in the lineup for the Dodgers at the designated hitter spot is Matt Beaty, who is seeing his first action of the 2020 season. Beaty is coming off a very under-the-radar rookie season for L.A. in which he hit .265/.317/.458 with nine home runs and 46 RBI in 99 games.

The Dodgers are without manager Dave Roberts, who was suspended one game as a a result of benches clearing on Tuesday. Bench coach Bob Geren is serving as acting manager. Joe Kelly received an eight-game suspension but is appealing and eligible to play.

Dodgers lineup

1B: Max Muncy
RF: Mookie Betts
CF: Cody Bellinger
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
2B: Chris Taylor
LF: Joc Pederson
DH: Matt Beaty
C: Austin Barnes

Astros lineup

LF: Kyle Tucker
2B: Jose Altuve
3B: Alex Bregman
DH: Michael Brantley
1B: Yuli Gurriel
SS: Carlos Correa
RF: Josh Reddick
CF: Myles Straw
C: Martin Maldonado

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