LOS ANGELES — After a heartbreaking, but exciting World Series Game 5 in Houston Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers face a must-win situation in Chavez Ravine tonight in Game 6 of the World Series.
The Astros moved within one victory of their first World Series championship with a 13-12 10-inning win Sunday, when they overcame three Dodger leads. Houston leads the best-of-seven series three games to two.
The Dodgers may have history on their side tonight. The home team is 42-24 in Game 6, a .636 winning percentage, including winning four of the past five.
Left-hander Rich Hill takes the mound against Astros right-hander Justin Verlander in a rematch of the Game 2 starters. Verlander came to the Dodgers from the Detroit Tigers this year and has been on fire ever since. He is 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA since the Aug. 31 trade. Neither hurler figured in the Game 2 decision.
During 2017 Hill was 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in the regular season. He does not have a decision in his three starts in the 2017 postseason with a 2.77 ERA. But he has kept the Dodgers alive in those games.
“When you’re in an elimination game, to have him, his confidence, his demeanor take the mound, that’s a good feeling,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts said he is “absolutely looking for Rich to go deep.” Roberts replaced Hill after four innings in Game 2, when he allowed one run and three hits, struck out seven and walked three.
The entire Dodger pitching staff is available except for Yu Darvish, who started Friday, and Clayton Kershaw, who started Sunday, Roberts said. This is the latest in the year for a World Series game at Dodger Stadium. The previous latest was Oct. 25, 1981, the first year the postseason consisted of three rounds.
The Dodgers are the first team to have the home-field advantage in the World Series based on their record. It had gone to the team from the league winning the All-Star Game from 2003 through last season and had annually rotated between the league champions before that.
Roberts expressed confidence his team will be helped by playing at home.
“When you go to the ballpark and hear the chatter and get on to the
field, all the soreness and things like that that you feel in a long season … they seem to dissipate when you have the energy of the crowd,” Roberts said.
City News Service contributed to this story.