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Dodgers Visit Yankee Stadium for First Time in 30 Years

32 years after the 1981 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally return to Yankee Stadium.

Nearly 32 years after the 1981 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally return to Yankee Stadium.

The Los Angeles Dodgers visit Yankee Stadium for the first time in three decades Tuesday night, looking to snap out of a funk that sees the club at the foot of the NL West standings.

The New York Yankees meanwhile will be looking to put a 4-6 West Coast road trip behind them as they return to the friendly confines of The Bronx for a short and sweet two-game set with their former city rivals.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

An Historic Trip

The Dodgers have not visited Yankee Stadium since October 28, 1981, the night of Game 6 of the 1981 World Series.

LAD_NYY_World_SeriesThat game is remembered for Yankees’ manager Bob Lemon’s decision to pinch hit for starting pitcher Tommy John in the bottom of the fourth inning. A bemused John departed the game with the scored tied at 1-1, only to watch as the Yankees’ bullpen collapsed. The Dodgers went on to win the game 9-2, winning the World Series in the process.

That game marked the last of 11 World Series contested between the two clubs, dating back to 1941 when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers four games to one.

Since the historic final game of the 1981 series, the sides have met on just six occasions, all at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. The Dodgers took two-of-three games in 2004 before the Yankees took two-of-three in 2010.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s two-game set between the two storied franchises will mark the first time Don Mattingly has managed against his former club. Mattingly spent his entire playing career – 14 seasons – in pinstripes before becoming an assistant coach under Joe Torre.  Mattingly was the hitting coach when the Yankees hit a record-breaking 242 homers in 2004. The Yankees retired his No. 23 in 1997.

Looking to Improve

Los Angeles (29-39, 10-19 road) finds itself at the foot of the NL West standings, seven games back of the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, the Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants are all separated by 1 1/2 games, leaving the Dodgers way back. Tuesday’s game isn’t just about history; the Dodgers need to win, and need to win right now.

LAD_NYY_H2HDon Mattingly’s team has dropped six of the last eight including two-of-three against the Pittsburgh Pirates to start a nine-game road trip. After a pair at Yankee Stadium, the Dodgers will head west to face the Padres.

New York (38-31, 19-13 home) is also in need of the victory after struggling during a 10-game West Coast swing that saw the team win just four games. A 6-5 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday put the halters on a five-game losing streak, but wasn’t enough to see the Bronx Bombers return to second place in the AL East.

The Yankees currently trail the Boston Red Sox by three games and the Baltimore Orioles by one game.

Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira was forced home during this recent road trip with an injured right wrist. He’s unlikely to be available for the series with the Dodgers and could be heading back to the disabled list; he spent the first 53 games on the DL this season.

The Dodgers meanwhile continue to be without Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, but the latest reports out of Chavez Ravine have rookie phenom Yasiel Puig remaining in the big leagues for the rest of the year.

Puig is averaging .479 with 23 hits, four homers, and 10 RBIs. His bat could be big against the Yankees.

Don Mattingly returns to New York to face his old team.

Don Mattingly returns to New York to face his old team.

Starting Pitchers

Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-2, 2.85 ERA) will take to the mound Tuesday night for the Dodgers. Ryu leads the club in wins, one ahead of Clayton Kershaw. The leftie is 3-0 in his last six starts. He gave up three runs on 11 hits last time out (Jun. 12), recording a no decision in an 8-6 loss to the Diamondbacks.

Phil Hughes (3-5, 4.89 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Yankees, looking for a change in fortunes. Hughes is 1-3 in his last six starts, and recorded the loss in his last outing (Jun. 12 in Oakland). He yielded four hits and three runs in 4 1/3 innings that day as the Yankees fell 5-2.

Wednesday’s second game between the clubs sees Chris Capuano (1-4, 5.45 ERA) pitch for the visitors against Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.78 ERA), the Yankees’ leader in quality starts and starter’s ERA.

Game Day Betting Lines

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees odds for 6/18/13 are available now.

The Yankees (-122) opened as the favorite over the Dodgers (+112) but most sportsbooks have reeled those odds in somewhat. BetOnline currently has the Yankees (-108) and Dodgers (-102) closest on the moneyline.

The over/under opened at 8 1/2 but has subsequently dropped to 8.

The Dodgers (37-28-3) have favored the over this season, while the Yankees (26-37-6) have favored the under. These preferences are reflected in recent results; the Dodgers have seen the total go over in six of the last seven, while the Yankees are 3-8-1 in the last 12 games.

The American League currently leads the National League 72-65 in interleague play this season.

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