Preview: Chase Utley Makes Dodgers Debut In Series Opener Against Astros

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to rebound from a miserable series in Oakland, the Los Angeles Dodgers head to Minute Maid Park to begin a three-game series with the Houston Astros.

The Dodgers enter Friday’s contest with a 67-53 record and remain in first place over the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games in the National League West. Their opponent, the Astros, are also in first place with a 66-56 record in the American League West.

Additionally, the Dodgers are 8-6 in interleague play this season. Taking the mound for the Dodgers is ground ball specialist Brett Anderson (7-7, 3.48 ERA), who is coming off a quality start against the Cincinnati Reds.

In six innings pitched, he allowed three earned runs and six hits while striking out three. Over his career against the Astros, Anderson owns a 1.00 ERA in nine innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out 13. His last appearance against them, however, came Sept. 8, 2013 as a member of the Athletics.

Opposing Anderson is newly-acquired Mike Fiers (5-9, 3.87 ERA), who was traded to Houston along with Carlos Gomez on July 30. Since joining the Astros, Fiers has posted a 3.71 ERA and 3.93 FIP in 17 innings, striking out 15 and walking six.

Fiers previously started against the Dodgers this season on May 7 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. In just five innings, he allowed five earned runs and 10 baserunners while striking out eight. For his career against Los Angeles, he is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched.

Making his Dodgers debut is long-time Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, just acquired two days ago. Dating back to Aug. 7, he is slashing .484/.485/.742 with one home run and five doubles in eight games.

Utley will receive the bulk of playing time at second base until Howie Kendrick returns from the disabled list, though Kiké Hernandez starts there once again.

Los Angeles gets their first look at one of the most exciting players in the game — Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. Despite being called up in early-June, Correa has already accumulated 3.0 WAR and is slashing .283/.352/.533 with 15 home runs and 16 doubles in 273 plate appearances.

Dodgers Lineup:

SS: Jimmy Rollins

DH: Chase Utley

3B: Justin Turner

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

C: Yasmani Grandal

LF: Carl Crawford

2B: Kiké Hernandez

CF: Joc Pederson

(P: Brett Anderson)

Astros Lineup:

2B: Jose Altuve

CF: Carlos Gomez

SS: Carlos Correa

3B: Jed Lowrie

DH: Evan Gattis

LF: Colby Rasmus

1B: Chris Carter

RF: Jake Marisnick

C: Jason Castro

(P: Mike Fiers)


Leave a comment ...