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Dodgers, Astros set for a nationally televised weekend

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Have both sides cooled off in 6½ weeks? Let’s find out

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

After a weird scheduled Friday off day, the Dodgers get another crack at the Astros, with a pair of nationally televised games this weekend. Saturday is on Fox, Sunday on ESPN, both broadcasts exclusive.

Going into the first series between these two teams this year, the Dodgers’ first trip to Houston since the tainted 2017 World Series, beforehand the Dodgers talked about looking forward and not back. But then all hell broke loose when Joe Kelly threw near the head of Alex Bregman, and afterward — a two-game sweep by Los Angeles — the Dodgers admitted that the tension was building for several months.

Whether that animosity still exists remains to be seen, at least in how it might manifest during a game. One would think, with a little over two weeks left in the regular season, and with the Dodgers rotation razor thin and hurting at the moment, and with the Astros under .500 and fighting tooth and nail to even make the playoffs, that these two games at Dodger Stadium won’t see another benches-clearing incident. But logic is rarely the driving factor in these encounters.

Dodgers-Astros schedule

Date Time Pitchers TV
Date Time Pitchers TV
Sat, Sep 12 5:07 p.m. Urías v. Valdéz Fox
Sun, Sep 13 5:08 p.m. TBD v. Greinke ESPN

Julio Urías looks to regain consistency, after allowing four runs in two of his last three starts. The Astros offense will be without Jose Altuve, on the injured list with right knee sprain, but they got back Alex Bregman last week. Houston has a 113 wRC+ against left-handers this season, 11th in MLB.

The Dodgers are up to .234/.332/.373, a 95 wRC+ against southpaws this season, which is an improvement from earlier in the year. Based on batted ball data, the Dodgers expected batting average against lefties is .273 and their expected slugging percentage is .460, per Baseball Savant.

The Dodgers are also 9-3 in games started by left-handers despite the below-average offense. They will get a second look at southpaw Framber Valdéz, who allowed three runs in 4⅓ innings to Los Angeles on July 28.

TV assignments

Joe Davis is on the call for Fox on Saturday, virtually alongside John Smoltz, with reporter Ken Rosenthal on the broadcast as well. On Sunday for ESPN, Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez will call the game, with reporter Buster Olney a part of the crew.

Game info

Time: 5:07 p.m. PT

TV: Fox