Rangers Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: Series Up For Grabs In Rubber Match
Chris Taylor
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers have traded 12-1 victories and now meet Sunday in a rubber match at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers enter play after having a four-game winning streak snapped, and the Rangers are fresh off ending a stretch of 16 consecutive road losses.

Unlike Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer who both were looking to rebound in the weekend series, Walker Buehler aims to build on seven scoreless innings his last time out. However, if there’s an area to improve on it’s with strikeouts.

Buehler had just two against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and his 24.3% strikeout rate for the season continues to trend toward being a career-low mark.

The 26-year-old has nevertheless still been effective so far this season, going 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA and 0.91 WHIP through 12 starts.

The Rangers counter with Dane Dunning, who is 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA this year. The right-hander did throw five shutout innings in his last start, but took a no-decision in the Rangers’ loss.

Dunning has endured growing pains in his rookie season but has seen better results in consecutive starts since allowing seven runs to the L.A. Angels on May 26.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was hopeful to have Cody Bellinger back in the lineup but he is out for a second consecutive game due to left hamstring tightness. The team nevertheless is optimistic Bellinger won’t be limited for a significant stretch. Bellinger is potentially available to pinch-hit if a key situation arises.

Zach McKinstry starts at third base as Justin Turner receives a scheduled day off. “I just like the way he can catch the baseball and throw it accurately across the diamond,” Roberts said of McKinstry. “I expect him to take three, four good at-bats and help us win a game.”

Dodgers lineup

CF: Mookie Betts
SS: Gavin Lux
2B: Chris Taylor
1B: Matt Beaty
LF: AJ Pollock
3B: Zach McKisntry
RF: Luke Raley
C: Austin Barnes
P: Walker Buehler

Rangers lineup

SS: Isiah Kiner-Falefa
LF: Willie Calhoun
CF: Adolis Garcia
RF: Joey Gallo
1B: Nate Lowe
2B: Nick Solak
3B: Brock Holt
C: Jonah Heim
P: Dane Dunning

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