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Joc Pederson, Chase Utley are in the Dodgers’ Game 2 lineup

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The lineups for Game 2 of the World Series are out and we have two changes to report.

None for the Astros, who go with the same lineup they had in Game 1, with the exception of Justin Verlander taking the bump and batting ninth.

The Dodgers make two substitutions: Joc Pederson will play left field and bat sixth and Chase Utley will play second and bat eighth. Both of those guys are lefties, of course, so they replace Kiké Hernandez and Logan Forsythe with the righty Verlander on the mound. Dave Roberts is also shuffling things around a bit, moving Corey Seager up to the second slot and pushing Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig all down a notch.

Here are the full lineups:

Houston

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

Los Angeles

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

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.