In best-of-seven series since 1985 when the road team wins Game 5 to grab a 3-2 advantage, it has gone on to win nine out of 10 times, with the benefit of playing at home for Game 6 and, if necessary, a winner-take-all Game 7. In best-of-seven series since '85, clubs jumping ahead three games to two at home have merely broken even at 9.
DODGERS The big change for the Dodgers comes defensively: Justin Turner will start Game 5 at designated hitter rather than at third base after taking a ground ball off his left calf in Game 4. He was lifted for a pinch-runner in the ninth inning as a precaution.
That sent a ripple effect through the Dodgers' positional arrangement. With Turner at DH, Logan Forsythe slides over from second base to third. Charlie Culberson will be Los Angeles' starting second baseman.
Enrique Hernandez moves up to bat cleanup against Keuchel in Game 5, after hitting fifth when the Dodgers faced him in Game 1. Hernandez's splits are significantly better against left-handed pitching -- he posted a .946 OPS and 10 home runs versus southpaws this season, with just a .499 OPS and one dinger against right-handers. Yasiel Puig, who hit cleanup in Game 1, will bat seventh in Game 5.
The Dodgers also returned Corey Seager to his usual No. 2 spot in the order. Seager hit sixth in Game 1 as Los Angeles eased him back into the lineup after missing the National League Championship Series due to a lower back injury.
1. Chris Taylor, CF 2. Seager, SS 3. Turner, DH 4. Hernandez, LF 5. Cody Bellinger,1B 6. Forsythe, 3B 7. Puig, RF 8. Austin Barnes, C 9. Culberson, 2B
ASTROS The Astros will run out the same lineup that they used in Game 4 against another Los Angeles left-hander, Alex Wood. Once again, that means the main part of their order will be stacked with powerful right-handed bats. George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel make up Houston's first five hitters versus Kershaw.
After facing Kershaw at Dodger Stadium in Game 1, the Astros will have the benefit of getting one additional right-handed hitter into their lineup in Game 5, now that they are back in their home park with the designated hitter. That will be Evan Gattis, who sat out Game 1 but will be starting and batting seventh in Game 5.