This is the perfect time for the Dodgers to be red hot. The Dodgers have won 11 of their last 12 entering a two-game road stint against the Houston Astros. Theatrics are expected to lace through this short series regardless of its length with the history between these two teams being quite obvious at this point. The Dodgers enter Tuesday just a half-game back of the San Diego Padres in the division, a margin that only got smaller since their recent sweep of the San Francisco Giants.
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Houston Astros|
|RF||Mookie Betts||2B||Jose Altuve|
|3B||Justin Turner||RF||Kyle Tucker|
|2B||Max Muncy||3B||Alex Bregman|
|DH||Will Smith||1B||Yuli Gurriel|
|CF||Chris Taylor||DH||Yordan Alvarez|
|1B||Albert Pujols||SS||Carlos Correa|
|SS||Gavin Lux||LF||Chas McCormick|
|LF||Matt Beaty||CF||Myles Straw|
|C||Austin Barnes||C||Martin Maldonado|
Clayton Kershaw has gotten right back to his usual self so far in 2021 and will look to continue the trend against the Dodgers’ 2017 World Series opponent. The Houston Astros hold the second-best offensive mark in the league against southpaws with a 126 wRC+ — this will be something to monitor tonight. On the other side, Zack Greinke has returned to being a steady performer after a 2020 season that ended in flames.
Somehow, the Kershaw-Greinke matchup that pits a no-doubt Hall of Famer and a potential Hall of Famer against one another isn’t the biggest storyline. The media has already gotten their two cents from Austin Barnes:
I don’t know if anyone ever will, but the best way to manage the frustration from four years ago is simply by winning. The Dodgers will be going to the right man to do that in Kershaw and the Dodgers have lit up Greinke in the past.
Greinke has been excellent at limiting hard contact this season in his finesse methods of operation and is still quite competent at this stage of his career. The Dodgers who have done the most damage in recent seasons are both not with the team at the moment — Cody Bellinger is on rehab and Joc Pederson is a Chicago Cub. This should be a good matchup regardless of the history.
We might see some theatrics tonight, but we could also see a great pitching matchup. We might see an offensive explosion. Who the hell knows. This will be a dandy whatever it swings.
That Cody Bellinger minor league prospect guy might be ready for the show.
Zach McKinstry got the day off, so nothing to report on that front. Both men should be back in the lineup in short order. With the team clicking on all cylinders, adding those two will likely help keep the train moving.
The Dodgers got some good news on the Brusdar Graterol front as he tossed a pain-free bullpen session today in Houston.