The first-place Dodgers are at Minute Maid Park to face the first-place Astros for three games this weekend, the first time these two teams have played one another since 2012, back when Houston was in the National League.
After averaging 104 losses for the last four years, and going without a winning season since 2008, the Astros accelerated the timetable on their contention, poised atop the American League West thanks to some of the finest collection of young talent in the game.
Carlos Correa was one of a select top handful of prospects in baseball heading into 2015, and the shortstop has lived up to and exceeded all of the hype. The 20-year-old former No. 1 overall pick has played in just 63 major league games, but is already hitting .283/.352/.533 with 15 home runs and 16 doubles. In just 62 games.
Correa also has stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts, every bit the five-tool player.
Brett Anderson will have to deal with Correa, Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie and the gang,
This will be the fourth American League opponent this season for Anderson, who has allowed exactly two runs in each of the first three, against Seattle, Texas and Oakland. Anderson in interleague play this season has a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings, with nine strikeouts and five walks.
Anderson's ground ball rate against the AL this year is 60.6 percent — again, just three starts here — but 68 percent against everyone else.
Mike Fiers gets the start for Houston in the opener, his fourth appearance with the Astros since getting acquired from Milwaukee. Fiers faced the Dodgers once this season, striking out eight at Miller Park on May 7. But Fiers took the loss thanks to a bunch of fives — five runs allowed on five hits, with five walks in his five innings.
Alex Guerrero homered off Fiers in that game on May 7. But since then he is hitting .208/.222/.356 in 153 plate appearances, with 43 strikeouts and two walks.
Time: 5:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network