Dodgers Slightly Adjust Lineup to Face Justin Verlander in Game 6

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(Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

The good news is the World Series has now shifted back to Los Angeles where the Dodgers were stellar during the regular season and have been nearly untouchable in the playoffs. The bad news is there’s no margin for error, as the Astros are just a single win away from a World Championship. On top of that, Houston is sending veteran righty Justin Verlander to the bump, who has been absolutely outstanding during the 2017 postseason.

If it’s any consolation for the Dodgers, in theory, they did muster enough offense to beat Verlander in Game 2, however, the Los Angeles bullpen could not hold true to preserve the win after southpaw Rich Hill was yanked after only four innings and 60 pitches.

So far during the playoffs, Verlander has appeared in five games—four of which were starts—and has posted a 4-0 record with a 2.05 ERA after giving up seven earned runs on 19 hits and eight walks over 30-2/3 innings. In the Game 2 outing, Verlander threw six innings and gave up just two hits and two walks, however, both hits were long balls which the Dodgers cashed in for three runs.

The Los Angeles lineup is slightly different from the combination they used at Houston, and has a few changes from the last time they faced Verlander last week. Chris Taylor will leadoff and play center field, followed by Corey Seager at short batting second, Justin Turner in the three-hole at third base and Cody Bellinger batting cleanup at first base. Yasiel Puig will bat fifth and play right field, while Joc Pederson is in left field and hits sixth. Logan Forsythe gets the nod at the keystone and hits seventh, while Austin Barnes is behind the dish batting eighth. Hill will bat ninth and do the pitching.

Chase Utley got the start at second base the last time out against Verlander and went 0-for-3 at the plate.

Over the entirety of the 2017 postseason, Hill has made three starts, but has not factored into any of the decisions. He has thrown just 13 innings, surrendering four earned runs on nine hits and eight walks and 19 strikeouts. Back in Game 2 when he was pulled early, he was seemingly still very fresh after surrendering only one earned run on three hits and one walk while striking out seven.

Considering the current state of the Los Angeles bullpen, skipper Dave Roberts is likely to ride the back of Hill as long as possible.

Dodgers Game 6 lineup:

  1. Taylor CF
  2. Seager SS
  3. Turner 3B
  4. Bellinger 1B
  5. Yasiel RF
  6. Pederson LF
  7. Forsythe 2B
  8. Barnes C
  9. Hill P

Astros lineup:

  1. Springer CF
  2. Bregman 3B
  3. Altuve 2B
  4. Correa SS
  5. Gurriel 1B
  6. McCann C
  7. Gonzalez LF
  8. Reddick RF
  9. Verlander P

First pitch is slated for 5:20 p.m. Los Angeles time.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

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