Dodgers vs. Astros: Which Starting Rotation has the Edge?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Clayton Kershaw
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 17: Clayton Kershaw /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 20: Justin Verlander /

Game Two: Rich Hill probable (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA)

Game two of the World Series will feature two veterans who at one point or another were left for dead on the baseball field.  Verlander went through some struggles over the past few seasons before rebounding last year and following it up with another strong season this year.  In this post-season, he has been arguably the best pitcher of any team.  Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.46 this October and has yet to have a start that is not a quality start.

On the opposing side of Verlander will be Rich Hill.  There are many feel-good stories as good as Hill who finds himself starting a World Series game after working his way back from Independent league baseball.  Hill has not been overly special this post-season, but he has kept the Dodgers in the game for both of his starts.  Against the Diamondbacks, he went four innings allowing two runs, and against the Cubs, he went five innings allowing only one earned run.

The game plan for the Dodgers will be to grind out their at-bats and get to the Astros bullpen.  With Hill on the mound, the Dodgers will need him to go five strong innings before handing the game over to their shutdown bullpen. If the Dodgers are going to win the World Series, they will need to beat Verlander at least once, so game two would be a good time to find a way to win.

Hitters to watch

Curtis Granderson – It’s not a lock that Granderson even makes the World Series roster, but he has the most experience against Verlander, homering twice in 24 at-bats, including a home run against him this season.

Carlos Beltran – Much like Granderson isn’t a lock to make the roster. Beltran is no lock to play game two without the designated hitter in use.  If he does play, Beltran has one home run and a .818 OPS against Hill in eleven at-bats.

Edge: Astros

Much like Keuchel against Kershaw, this is not a knock against Rich Hill.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers beat Verlander but the Astros definitely have the edge in game two.  Verlander has been an animal this post-season and will look to shine for the Astros under the bright lights of Hollywood.  Let’s hope the local team flips the script on the game’s biggest stage.