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Astros, Dodgers set World Series G2 lineups

MLB.com

The starting lineups have been announced for Game 2 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium, where Los Angeles is 5-0 this postseason.

The Dodgers will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the World Series presented by YouTube TV before the series shifts to Houston, while the Astros will seek an offensive awakening of sorts. Teams that have taken a 2-0 World Series lead have gone on to win the title nearly 80 percent of the time, including each of the past 10 occurrences.

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The starting lineups have been announced for Game 2 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium, where Los Angeles is 5-0 this postseason.

The Dodgers will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the World Series presented by YouTube TV before the series shifts to Houston, while the Astros will seek an offensive awakening of sorts. Teams that have taken a 2-0 World Series lead have gone on to win the title nearly 80 percent of the time, including each of the past 10 occurrences.

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• Gear up for the World Series: Astros | Dodgers

:: World Series schedule and coverage ::

Here's how the Game 2 lineups look.

ASTROS
Facing another lefty (Houston is 23-27 in games started by opposing left-handers, including the postseason), the Astros have kept an identical lineup to the one they used in Game 1, as they look to supplement what they hope is another stellar start by Justin Verlander, who is 9-0 in as many games with Houston.

"There's always pressure in the World Series, I think," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "But again this guy, for him, I don't think it's pressure as much as it's an opportunity. I think our guys understand, especially after Game 1, that getting a win here is huge. You want to win as many games as you can, as fast as you can. We can't set up a perfect series for anybody, but you have to deal with what's on hand today. But certainly, he's going to feel the burden of wanting to be the guy to help us get a win to even the series."

Despite its struggles, Houston may have found a favorable matchup against Dodgers breaking-ball specialist Rich Hill. The left-hander has reverted to his curveball on 41.6 percent of his pitches this year, per Statcast™, and the Astros have hit an MLB-best .274 against such pitches. Hill acknowledged that such repetition could benefit the hitter, but he noted Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. closing out Game 7 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World with 24 straight curveballs.

"Strategically, I think what you're risking is for the opportunity for the hitter to see multiple breaking balls in a row, and it would almost become automatic, like they are able to see the same pitch over and over out of your hand," Hill said. "So you may lose a little bit of deception, but with that said on that point, you are also in an environment where you have to go with your best pitch."

As is the case with any AL team, the Astros will be hamstrung with Verlander in the lineup instead of designated hitter Evan Gattis. Verlander, who has spent his entire career in the AL, is a career 4-for-43 at the plate.

1. George Springer, CF
2. Alex Bregman, 3B
3. Jose Altuve, 2B
4. Carlos Correa, SS
5. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
6. Brian McCann, C
7. Marwin Gonzalez, LF
8. Josh Reddick, RF
9. Justin Verlander, P

DODGERS
Facing red-hot righty Verlander, the Dodgers will employ a platoon by installing left-handed hitters Chase Utley and Joc Pederson to replace Logan Forsythe at second base and Enrique Hernandez in left field, respectively. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he opted for Pederson over Andre Ethier in part due to what he believes was a more favorable matchup against Verlander's elite velocity.

"I like Joc a little bit better with the velocity. And I think Joc is a better defender in left field, too," Roberts said.

Video: WS2017 Gm2: Roberts discusses Pederson in left field

Corey Seager, who went 2-for-3 in Game 1, was moved back to his standard spot in the two-hole after batting sixth on Tuesday in what was his first game after a back strain forced him to miss the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World. As such, Justin Turner has slotted back to the No. 3 spot, where he will look to continue his remarkable postseason run. With a game-winning two-run homer on Tuesday, Turner notched his 26th career postseason RBI with the Dodgers, tying Duke Snider for the most in club history.

A more disciplined Yasiel Puig, who has been just about as consistent as Turner this postseason, was moved from cleanup to the five-hole. He has relished this postseason at Dodger Stadium, having reached safely in half of his 20 plate appearances at home. Roberts praised the improvement he's seen from Puig, whose 19.8 percent chase rate this postseason ranks ninth best among 70 batters who have seen at least 25 out-of-zone pitches.

"I think No. 1, he's taking more walks," Roberts said of Puig. "And if you want to kind of dig into that, he's just been way more disciplined in the strike zone, where I think in years past, a walk was not necessarily looked at as a positive for him. And now he's understanding that to be able to keep the line moving, there's a lot of value in that."

1. Chris Taylor, CF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Justin Turner, 3B
4. Cody Bellinger, 1B
5. Yasiel Puig, RF
6. Joc Pederson, LF
7. Austin Barnes, C
8. Chase Utley, 2B
9. Rich Hill, P

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros