Chad Billingsley (7-7, 3.38) vs. Brandon Backe (5-8, 5.12).
COMMENTS: The Dodgers remain undefeated in July and a win today would give them a series win over the Houston Astros. Today's early game means morning baseball, allowing the Dodgers to fly to San Francisco for the weekend series with the third-place Giants. And by Thursday afternoon, we'll either be talking about how Jeff Kent's extra-inning HR Tuesday, coupled with Hiroki Kuroda's masterfully efficient performance last night, is giving the Dodgers new hope for the second half of the season...or, we'll be lamenting yet another sad offensive showing, likely capped by a pop-up to the pitcher in a Mark Sweeney pinch hit situation with the winning run on third. As I write this, I realize, I've gotta start drinking as soon as I get up Thursday morning...bring on the hard stuff (that goes for you too, Chad!).