Back when the Dodgers were in contention -- seems so long ago, doesn't it? -- this four-game series in Houston was seen as an advantage to be utilized on their way to the playoffs. However, in a case of be careful what you wish for, Minute Maid Park is upon us with the Dodgers playing their worst and the Astros playing their best.
The Dodgers have lost five straight games, and are 20-31 since the All-Star break, but our new Houston overlords have won 13 of their last 17 and are 30-20 since the break. Leading the second half charge on offense have been Hunter Pence (.330/.356/.573 with 11 home runs), Chris Johnson and his .424 BABIP (.342/.377/.527), and even Jeff Keppinger (.298/.383/.413).
The Dodgers tagged Bud Norris for six runs in 4 1/3 innings back on May 18 at Dodger Stadium. Matt Kemp and Casey Blake were each 2-for-2 off Norris. However, Kemp, along with Rafael Furcal, are scheduled to rest today, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Trent Oeltjen is expected to get the start in center field.
Ted Lilly has faced the Astros twice this season, in his last two starts with the Cubs, allowing a total of one run in 13 innings. Yet, Lilly left both games tied, and took no-decisions in what would each become Chicago losses.
On this date 45 years ago, the Dodgers got only one hit and a walk off Bob Hendley of the Cubs, but were able to scratch one unearned run together to get the 1-0 win.
Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's game simulation here.
Game Time: 5:05 p.m.