The Dodgers continue their interleague week with three games against the first-place Astros this weekend at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Here is a look at the schedule and pitching matchups for the three-game set.
Friday, 5:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA, MLB Network)
Brett Anderson has three quality starts in five outings since the All-Star break, but also just an 11-percent strikeout rate after a 17.5-percent rate beforehand. He will be pitching on five days rest on Friday; with five or more days rest this season Anderson has a 3.39 ERA with a 17.9-percent strikeout rate, though is just 1-5 and the Dodgers have lost eight of those 11 starts (he's 6-2 with a 3.54 ERA and a 14.6-percent strikeout rate otherwise, and the Dodgers are 9-3 in those starts).
Mike Fiers was acquired from the Brewers along with Carlos Gomez on July 30. In his first Astros appearace, Fiers allowed six runs in five innings in a long relief effort. Since then, in two starts the right-hander has allowed three combined runs (one earned) in 12 innings, with nine strikeouts and three walks. Fiers has lasted at least six innings in seven of his last nine starts
Saturday, 4:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Zack Greinke hasn't had an ERA as high as 2.00 after a start all year; the highest he got was 1.97, after a loss at Coors Field on June 2. To get to 2.00 on Saturday, Greinke would need to allow eight earned runs in an inning or less. Greinke's last start in Houston came in 2012 when he was with Milwaukee and managed by new Dodgers third base coach Ron Roenicke.
Scott Kazmir was an astute acquisition by the Astros before the non-waiver trade deadline, and he allowed on runs in 14⅔ innings in his first two starts with Houston. But since then, in his three August starts Kazmir is 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA, allowing 13 runs on 22 hits in 16⅔ innings, with 14 strikeouts, seven walks and four home runs allowed.
Sunday, 11:10 a.m. (SportsNet LA, TBS)
This will be Clayton Kershaw's fifth career start in Houston, but his first since 2012 when Houston was a National League team. He allowed nine runs on 14 hits in 10 innings in his first two starts there in 2008 and 2009, then in his 2011 and 2012 starts in Houston allowed a combined one run on seven hits in 13 innings.
The Astros will recall rookie Lance McCullers to start the series finale. The right-hander has been excellent this season, 5-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 14 starts, with 79 strikeouts and 28 walks in 76⅔ innings. He allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of his first 13 starts, but was demoted to Triple-A after allowing six runs on seven hits while recording just one out on Aug. 3 against Texas.
The TBS broadcast will feature Ernie Johnson on play-by-play, and Cal Ripken Jr. as analyst. But it will not be available in the Los Angeles market. As part of TBS' contract with MLB, they are allowed to lift the blackout once per team per season, and already did so on July 26 when the Dodgers played the Mets.