Tuesday night will mark the beginning of one of the more anticipated series for the Dodgers and their fans. For the first time since the Astros sign-stealing scandal became public, the Dodgers will host Houston with a full-capacity crowd on hand.
The brief two-game series will also see Max Scherzer make his Dodger debut on Wednesday. The atmosphere for this series just feels a bit different. Fans will surely be amped up to welcome the Astros to Chavez Ravine and a shower of boos will be heard.
After Corey Seager returned from the injured list on Friday, the Dodgers took two out of three from the league-worst Arizona Diamondbacks, a series in which they also saw Mookie Betts return. In the coming days, the club could get the likes of Trea Turner and Clayton Kershaw added as well.
For this series, the Dodgers should have great pitching, as mentioned previously.
But the reigning National League Pitcher of the month, Walker Buehler will get the start in the opeber. In July, Buehler went 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and pitched in at least seven innings in those starts. With Mets starter Jacob deGrom missing extended time with an injury, Buehler has now slid in as the favorite in some sportsbooks to win the NL Cy Young. So far in the year, he is 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA.
Buehler will face Lance McCullers Jr., one of the active players on the current Astros roster from that 2017 squad. McCullers has been one of the more outspoken Astro players in defense of their 2017 championship. So far this year, he’s posted a 3.23 ERA and an 8-2 record.
Facing Scherzer on Wednesday will be right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who is 4-5 this year and has a 4.30 ERA.
This matchup could possibly be a World Series preview. Both teams have almost identical records. The Dodgers come in with a record of 64-43, while the Astros are at 64-42. Both sides, at this point, are essentially a lock to be in the postseason.
In their previous two-game meeting in Houston this year, the two teams split the series.
In other news, Chris Taylor was named the winner of the Heart and Hustle Award for the Dodgers. Each Major League club receives one winner who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball. Just another nod to the great 2021 season that Taylor is having, as he’s been one of the best if not the best player on the Dodgers all year long.
The first pitch for Tuesday’s opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.