World Series Game 2 Preview: Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers
The Astros will look to tie the series up tonight before heading home to Houston on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won last night’s game 3-1, giving them a 1-0 World Series lead.
Starter Clayton Kershaw silenced any critics he may have had left last night in his utterly dominant Game 1 start. The lefty ace pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run on a solo home run by Alex Bregman and striking out 11 while walking none, becoming the first pitcher since Randy Johnson to strike out 11 batters in a World Series game. LA’s bullpen was equally dominant, with Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen combining for two perfect innings to secure the win.
All of Game 1’s runs came from the long ball. Chris Taylor struck first, launching a ball into the left-field bleachers on the first pitch of the game from Houston starter Dallas Keuchel to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Alex Bregman then tied it up in the top of the fourth with a solo shot of his own. The tie score lasted two innings before Justin Turner put LA up 3-1 with a two-run shot in the sixth.
Game 2 Starters – Justin Verlander (RHP) vs Rich Hill (LHP)
Verlander has been on a roll this postseason. In four appearances, he has a 1.46 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 24 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched. The Astros are undefeated in games in which he has appeared since being acquired from the Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, his career postseason ERA has lowered to an even 3.00 to go along with a 1.06 WHIP. The right-hander made one start against the Dodgers this season, back when he was pitching for the Tigers. In that game, he allowed one run on two hits in eight innings, striking out nine and walking one.
Hill has a 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in two games this October, striking out 12 in 9.0 innings pitched. In his last start against the Cubs in the NLDS, he struck out eight in five innings. The lefty has a career 3.96 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in the playoffs and this will be Hill’s first start against Houston all season.
|Astros Lineup||Home Runs
|George Springer, CF||1||.213||.302|
|Alex Bregman, 3B||3||.196||.245|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||5||.386||.481|
|Carlos Correa, SS||3||.277||.320|
|Yuli Gurriel, 1B||0||.341||.383|
|Brian McCann, C||0||.143||.250|
|Marwin Gonzalez, LF||0||.150||.227|
|Josh Reddick, RF||0||.182||.234|
|Justin Verlander, P||0||.000||.000|
|Dodgers Lineup||Home Runs
|Chris Taylor, CF||3||.286||.419|
|Justin Turner, 3B||4||.371||.474|
|Cody Bellinger, 1B||2||.256||.293|
|Yasiel Puig, RF||1||.375||.474|
|Corey Seager, SS||0||.357||.500|
|Curtis Granderson, LF||0||.067||.067|
|Austin Barnes, C||1||.269||.367|
|Chase Utley, 2B||0||.000||.250|
|Rich Hill, P||0||.000||.000|
Who’s Hot, and Who’s Not
Jose Altuve leads Houston in batting average (.386), on-base percentage (.481), slugging percentage (.727), hits (17), and home runs (5) this postseason. His 1.208 OPS is over 300 points better than the next best mark on the team. Yuli Gurriel is the only other Astros hitter batting over .300 with a .341 average this October. Of his 15 hits, five have been for extra bases, including four doubles and one triple.
George Springer has a .213 batting average and .621 OPS in the playoffs, along with 15 strikeouts in 47 at-bats. Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick are a combined 17-90 with 15 strikeouts and six walks between the two of them. Brian McCann’s .143 average is the lowest on the team this postseason. He has nearly twice as many strikeouts (9) as he has hits (5).
Turner leads the Dodgers in RBIs this postseason with 14. In nine games he has four home runs and a 1.190 OPS. Yasiel Puig’s .375 postseason average is the highest amongst LA batters with at least 20 at-bats this October. He also has just three strikeouts and six walks in 38 plate appearances. Corey Seager is also back from the back injury that kept him out of the NLCS and was 2 for 3 with two singles last night, his first action since the NLDS.
Cody Bellinger has 13 strikeouts in 39 at-bats in October. His .754 OPS is well below his regular season mark, though he batted .318 in the NLCS.
Prediction: Dodgers 3 – 2 Astros
With another good pitching matchup, this game figures to be just as close as last night’s contest. Verlander has been near unstoppable in the playoffs so far, but he hasn’t faced an offense like LA’s in the postseason yet. Sure, he had a good start against them in the regular season, but the Dodgers’ hitters are firing on all cylinders now. Meanwhile, Houston’s offense has looked like a shell of itself on the road this October, and the lack of a DH in their lineup will only exacerbate this.
Where to Watch:
Today’s game will begin at 8:00 p.m. EST and be broadcast on Fox.