The Houston Astros will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium for a quick two-game interleague series starting Tuesday night. The Astros (64-42) are coming off a series loss to the San Francisco Giants, but still have the best record in the American League. The Dodgers (64-43), meanwhile, are coming off a series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks but still trail the Giants by 4 games in the National League West. This will be a big series for both teams for obvious reasons and this will be the first time that Dodgers fans will get a chance to see the Astros in Chavez Ravine since the sign-stealing scandal broke due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s take a look and preview this big series.
Game one will have a great pitching matchup between Lance McCullers Jr. (8-2, 3.23 ERA) and Walker Buehler (11-1, 2.11 ERA.) McCullers has been good this season and is coming off a win in his last start at Seattle. Against the Mariners, he went six innings and allowed six hits, four runs, and struck out eight. As good as he has been, Buehler has been better this season. He was just named National League Pitcher of the Month for July after going 3-0, while posting a 1.67 ERA, with 38 strikeouts, and posting a 0.90 WHIP in five starts. No doubt the Astros will have a tough matchup against Buehler in the series opener, but with LMJ going for them it should be a great game.
If the game one matchup against Buehler wasn’t difficult enough, the Astros and Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.30 ERA) will face the newly acquired Max Scherzer. Scherzer, (8-4, 2.76 ERA) who came over in a trade deadline deal with the Washington Nationals along with Trea Turner, will make his first start for the Dodgers on Wednesday. He was part of the 2019 Nationals World Series Championship team who defeated the Astros 4-3 in the Fall Classic. Odorizzi, meanwhile, is coming off a win in his last start against the Mariners in which he went 5 ⅓ innings, allowing three runs, on five hits, and striking out three. Odorizzi and the Astros will have a tough matchup in this game as well.
Facing Buehler and Scherzer in back-to-back games is as tough as it gets for anyone in baseball, but if any team can beat those two great pitchers, it is the Astros. To do that the offense will have to do what they have been doing all season long and that is score runs. They lead MLB in runs scored with 5.47 per game and have been scoring runs aplenty on this road trip in Seattle and San Francisco. The offense has been good but Jose Altuve, Aledmys Diaz, and Yuli Gurriel all had big games in the series against the Giants and will need to keep that going against the Dodgers. This is going to be a fun series to watch.