Dodgers and Yankees Face Off in Los Angeles

Then, when Gavin Lux, Trea Turner’s projected replacement at shortstop, blew out a knee in spring training, things really turned dicey. Coming into the year, few could have predicted that Mookie Betts, the team’s Gold Glove right fielder, would have six starts at shortstop.

Somehow, though, a team with a middling rotation, a bad bullpen and a lineup that seems far less ferocious than it did in recent years, has managed to bully its way past opponents.

The Yankees saw that firsthand on Friday. But they welcome that kind of challenge.

“We’re excited to be here and I’m excited to pitch here,” said Cole, who is scheduled to start Saturday night. “It’s always fun coming here, but especially as a Yankee, it’s the history going back to New York. It just makes it a little bit more special.”

And even if neither team has looked quite right this season, both are preparing for October baseball, just like always. A June series against each other serves as a convenient test of their readiness.

“There are games, series, throughout the 162-game season that do get a little bigger feel,” Boone said. “I think it’s great. Whether it’s when we go to London or you play in the Field of Dreams game, there’s something really cool about that in the grind of 162 that, you know, obviously with the tradition of these two teams, interleague. I think a weekend in June, Dodgers-Yankees, has a good sound to it and probably does give you a little extra juice.”

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