NEW YORK (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. will pay about $1.9 billion cash to buy BroadSoft Inc. in a move aimed at expanding its communications software offerings.

The networking technology giant is paying $55 per share, marking a 2 percent premium to Broadsoft’s closing price on Friday.

Gaithersburg, Maryland-based BroadSoft provides telecommunications technology for businesses, including phone services, audio and video conferencing and virtual meetings.

BroadSoft’s focus on small- and medium-sized businesses will help bolster Cisco’s offerings, the San Jose, California-based company said.

“More and more businesses expect fully featured voice and contact center solutions with the ability to deploy them on-premises or in the cloud,” Cisco said.

The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan is running for governor.

The West Warwick Republican made the announcement in a video message released Monday morning. She becomes the first Republican to announce a run for the office currently held by Democrat Gina Raimondo.

In her message, the 67-year-old Morgan says she has seen her constituents struggle with a stagnant economy. She says the state needs leadership and a clear vision of what needs to be fixed.

Morgan, an Ohio native, is a financial adviser and former teacher.

Morgan was elected to the House in 2010, and became minority leader in November 2016. She previously headed the state Republican Party.

Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who ran against Raimondo in 2014, is expected to launch his run for governor on Tuesday.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — When Leticia Miranda had a job selling newspapers on the streets, she earned about $160 a month, just enough to pay for a tiny apartment she shared with her 8-year-old son in a poor neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro.

When she lost her job about six months ago amid Brazil’s worst economic crisis in decades, Miranda had no choice but to move to an abandoned building where several hundred people were already living. All of her possessions — a bed, a fridge, a stove and some clothes — have been jammed into a small room that like all the others in the building has windows with no glass. Residents bathe in large garbage cans filled with water and do their best to live with the stench of mountains of trash and rummaging pigs in the center of the building.

“I want to leave here, but there is nowhere to go,” said Miranda, 28, dressed in a bikini top, shorts and sandals to deal with the heat. “I’m applying for jobs and did two interviews. So far, nothing.”

Between 2004 and 2014, tens of millions of Brazilians emerged from poverty and the country was often cited as an example for the world. High prices for the country’s raw materials and newly developed oil resources helped finance social welfare programs that put money into the pockets of the poorest.

But that trend has been reversed over the last two years due to the deepest recession in Brazil’s history and cuts to the subsidy programs, raising the specter that this continent-sized nation has lost its way in addressing wide inequalities that go back to colonial times.

“Many people who had risen out of poverty, and even those who had risen into the middle class, have fallen back,” said Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The World Bank estimates about 28.6 million Brazilians moved out of poverty between 2004 and 2014. But the bank estimates that from the start of 2016 to the end of this year, 2.5 million to 3.6 million will have fallen back below the poverty line of 140 Brazilian reais per month, about $44 at current exchange rates.

Those figures are likely underestimates, de Bolle said, and they don’t capture the fact that many lower-middle class Brazilians who gained ground during the boom years have since slid back closer to poverty.

Economists say high unemployment and cuts to key social welfare programs could exacerbate the problems. In July, the last month for which data is available, unemployment was close to 13 percent, a huge increase from 4 percent at the end of 2004.

Lines of job-seekers stretching several blocks have become commonplace whenever any business announces openings. When a university in Rio this month offered low-skilled jobs paying $400 a month, thousands showed up, including many who stood outside in the rain a day before the process began.

Meanwhile, budgetary pressures and the conservative policies of President Michel Temer are translating into cuts in social services. Among those hit is the Bolsa Familia — Family Allowance — program that gives small subsidies each month to qualifying low-income people. It’s credited with much of the poverty reduction during Brazil’s boom decade.

Non-labor income, including social programs like Bolsa Familia, accounted for nearly 60 percent of the reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty during the boom decade, said Emmanuel Skoufias, a World Bank economist and one of the authors of the report on Brazil’s “new poor.”

Now, even as job losses have been pushing more people toward the program, fewer are being covered.

“Every day is a struggle to survive,” 40-year-old Simone Batista said, tears streaming down her face as she recounted being cut from Bolsa Familia after her now 1-year-old was born. She wants to appeal, but doesn’t have enough money to take buses to the administrative office downtown. Batista lives in Jardim Gramacho, a slum in northern Rio where she and hundreds of other destitute residents find food by rummaging through garbage illegally dumped in the area.

An Associated Press review of Bolsa Familia data found coverage declined 4 percentage points between May 2016, when Temer became acting president, and May of this year. Part of that may be due to a crackdown on alleged fraud that started late last year. Temer’s administration announced it had found “irregularities” in the records of 1.1 million recipients — about 8 percent of the 14 million people who receive the benefit. The infractions ranged from fraud to families that were earning above $150 a month, the cutoff to receive the benefit.

“The government shouldn’t lose focus on the priority” of keeping people out of poverty, said Skoufias, adding that Bolsa Familia represented only about 0.5 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product and the government should be looking to allocate more, not fewer, resources to it.

Still, any discussion of increased spending is likely doomed in Congress, where a spending cap was passed earlier this year and Temer is pushing to make large cuts to the pension system. The fiscal situation is even worse for many states, including Rio.

A year after hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio is so broke that thousands of public workers are not being paid, or are being paid late in installments. Many budget items, from garbage collection to a community policing program, have been sharply reduced.

For many who live in Rio’s hundreds of favelas, or slums, an already hardscrabble existence feels increasingly precarious.

Maria de Pena Souza, 59, lives with her 24-year-old son in a small house with a zinc roof in the Lins favela in western Rio. They want to move because the home sits on a steep hill that is prone to deadly mudslides. But her son hasn’t been able to find work since finishing his military service a few years ago.

“I would leave if there was a way, but there isn’t,” said de Pena Souza, who added: “When it rains, I can’t sleep.”

The economic doldrums are clearly fueling the political comeback of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who from 2003 to 2010 presided over much of the boom. After leaving office with approval ratings over 80 percent, da Silva’s popularity plunged as he and his party were ensnared in corruption investigations. Da Silva is appealing a conviction and nearly 10-year sentence for corruption. But he still consistently leads preference polls for next year’s presidential election.

On the campaign trail, da Silva promises both a return to better economic times and refocusing on the poor.

“Lula is not just Lula,” da Silva said at a recent rally in Rio, using the name most Brazilians call him. “It’s an idea represented by millions of men and women. Prepare yourselves because the working class will return to govern this country.”

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Associated Press writer Peter Prengaman reported this story in Rio de Janeiro, AP writer Sarah DiLorenzo reported from Sao Paulo and AP writer Daniel Trielli reported from Washington. AP video journalist Diarlei Rodrigues in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.

WASHINGTON (AP) — David Letterman was celebrated at the Kennedy Center Sunday night for his record run on late-night TV, innovative comedy routines and for helping the nation start to heal by reassuring that it was OK to laugh again after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Fellow entertainers gathered to honor Letterman where he was receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Among those in attendance were previous Mark Twain recipients Steve Martin and Bill Murray, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who recalled a monologue Letterman gave on his show shortly after 9/11.

“You let us know it was OK to move on and OK to laugh again,” Kimmel said. “Dave, you led the way for all of us.”

Kimmel jokingly blamed the election of President Donald Trump on Letterman’s retirement in 2015.

“It’s like you went out for cigarettes one day and left us in the hands of our abusive, orange stepfather,” Kimmel said.

Speakers included comedians John Mulaney, Amy Schumer and Jimmie Walker of the 1970s television series “Good Times.” Walker gave Letterman one of his first jobs as a joke writer in Hollywood.

Schumer poked fun at Letterman’s famed reputation for grumpiness, saying she performed on his show three times.

“By the end of my third appearance, Dave was no longer totally indifferent to me,” she said.

Mulaney credited Letterman’s appeal with his determination to mine humor from ordinary people, and occasionally their pets.

“The Johnny Carson show said, ‘Take a break from your weird life and watch these famous people have fun in show business,'” Mulaney said. “Dave’s show said, ‘Your weird life is just as funny as show business.'”

The 70-year-old Letterman spent 33 years on late-night TV, hosting long-running shows on NBC and then on CBS. His final broadcast on May 20, 2015, was episode No. 6028 that Letterman hosted. It shattered the record of his mentor, Carson.

On Sunday, comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short honored him by needling him about his bushy, white beard.

“Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time that now to choose to look like a Confederate war general,” Steve Martin said.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama sent in a video tribute and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder thanked Letterman for being a longtime “friend to music” and performed the song “Keep me in your heart” by the late Warren Zevon, a Letterman favorite.

Letterman’s run on NBC in particular was hugely influential, introducing a sardonic, irony-drenched comedic style that influenced a generation.

His time slot immediately following Carson’s “The Tonight Show” allowed Letterman to draw a huge following of young, largely college-age viewers seeking an alternative to the somewhat staid Carson model.

Letterman introduced the country to fringe musical acts that might never have received an opportunity on “The Tonight Show.”

His humor was undeniably intelligent, but also at times surrealistic and silly. He pioneered segments called Stupid Pet Tricks and Stupid Human Tricks. He tossed watermelons and other objects off a five-story building; at one point, he wore a suit made of Velcro and jumped onto a Velcro-covered wall, sticking in place. He turned bizarre characters like Larry “Bud” Melman and Biff Henderson into cult celebrities.

Letterman started his career as a radio talk show host and TV weatherman in Indiana. In the mid-1970s he moved to Los Angeles, performing stand-up comedy and writing jokes for (at the time more famous) stand-up comic Walker of “Good Times” fame. Eventually he caught the eye of “The Tonight Show” and Carson, performing several times on the show and becoming a regular guest host starting in 1978.

NBC gave Letterman his own show following Carson; “Late Night with David Letterman” debuted on Feb. 1, 1982. Letterman’s first guest that night? Bill Murray, the Twain award recipient in 2016.

On Sunday, Murray stole the show with a surreal performance dressed as an Elizabethan-era monarch.

Murray said the perks of the Twain award elevate you above normal humans.

“You’re not exactly a god but you’re way up there,” he said. “You will be able to walk up to any man or woman on the street, take a lit cigar out of their mouth and finish it. You’ll be able to board any riverboat in this country.”

Murray then announced he was hungry and had a burger brought to him on stage. He then ordered platters of burgers delivered to Letterman’s balcony and cajoled Letterman’s son Harry to toss a pickle to the masses below.

Letterman ended the evening with a brief speech and a bit of dark humor, saying, “I kind of wish this award could be presented posthumously.”

He thanked the “hundreds and hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people who helped him along the way. He closed with a politically tinged quote from Mark Twain himself on the subject of patriotism: “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and supporting your government when it deserves it.”

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Follow Ashraf Khalil on twitter at www.twitter.com/ashrafkhalil

The Latest from week 7 of the NFL regular season (all times Eastern):

11 p.m.

Do not adjust your TV sets.

A thick fog descended over Foxborough, Massachusetts, for the Super Bowl rematch between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. The fog dipped in and out during the first half but sat heavily on the field in the second, making it hard for fans to see action at the far end of the field.

The TV picture was also fuzzy for all but the closest close-ups, forcing NBC to rely more on the mobile skycam that is manipulated around the field by wires.

The Falcons played like they were in a fog, falling behind 23-0.

— Jimmy Golen reported from Foxborough, Massachusetts

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7:30 p.m.

Chris Boswell did his best to match Kai Forbath’s day for the Minnesota Vikings only to come up just shy.

Boswell connected on all five of his field goal attempts scoring the last 15 points for Pittsburgh, and the Steelers finished off a 29-914 win over Cincinnati.

Forbath made all six of his field goals earlier Sunday in Minnesota’s win over Baltimore. Ryan Succop kicked four field goals in Tennessee’s 12-9 overtime win against winless Cleveland, including the game-winner.

The Dallas Cowboys lost kicker Dan Bailey to an injured groin, but not to worry. Safety Jeff Heath became the first non-kicker or punter in the NFL to connect on multiple extra points since 1980 as he made two of three attempts. Ted Thompson, now the Packers’ general manager, made all four of his extra points in 1980 as a Houston Oilers linebacker.

Not that the Cowboys had to sweat a field goal by Heath. They beat San Francisco 40-10.

The Chargers shut out Denver 21-0, and Seattle beat the Giants 24-7 in the other late games.

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6:15 p.m.

Dallas kicker Dan Bailey will miss the rest of the game with a right groin injury.

Bailey got hurt in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers. With Bailey hurt, the Cowboys went for a 2-point conversion after their third touchdown of the half but failed to convert. Bailey had made the first two extra points and is perfect on 23 kicks this season.

Safety Jeff Heath kicked off following the touchdown and managed to reach the goal line with his kick. Heath made an extra point after Dallas scored on its opening possession of the third quarter, then he missed a second extra point.

— Josh Dubow from Santa Clara, California.

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5:50 p.m.

Former San Francisco 49ers great Dwight Clark says he just wanted to see his teammates in an emotional halftime ceremony.

Clark announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The team brought in about 30 of Clark’s former teammates to honor him for his leaping grab in the back of the end zone for a yard TD in the final minute of a 28-27 win over Dallas in the NFC title game launched the 49ers dynasty.

The team played a video tribute narrated by Vin Scully and then Joe Montana introduced Clark, who spoke haltingly to the crowd while describing the one wish he had for this day.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.

— Josh Dubow from Santa Clara, California

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5:30 p.m.

Days after the NFL declined to change its rule on the national anthem, about two dozen players protested around the league.

Associated Press journalists counted 22 players protesting during the anthems in some way before day games. Some took a knee, others sat on the bench, stayed in the tunnel or raised a fist.

On Sept. 25, days after President Trump said players should be fired for protesting during the anthem, more than 200 players protested.

On Sunday, the Seahawks and 49ers had the most protesters. Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett and seven Seahawks teammates did not stand before their game with the New York Giants.

In San Francisco, about a half-dozen 49ers kneeled led by Eric Reid, Marquise Goodwin, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, Eli Harold, Adrian Colbert and K’waun Williams. All the Dallas Cowboys stood, but defensive tackle David Irving raised his fist after the anthem ended.

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4:20 p.m.

The NFL’s kickers took center stage at a handful of the early games with none having a better day than Kai Forbath for the Minnesota Vikings, and three others came through when it mattered most.

Forbath kicked six field goals to lift the Vikings to a 24-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He made kicks of 52, 51, 43, 43, 34 and 32 yards.

Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, and his 47-yarder with 1:55 left in overtime lifted the Tennessee Titans to an ugly 12-9 win over winless Cleveland. The kick also extended Succop’s NFL record for makes inside 50 yards to 55 straight.

Buffalo kicker Stephen Hauschka tied an NFL record for field goals 50 yards or longer with his 12th consecutive made kick. He had three field goals as the Bills beat Tampa Bay 30-27, his third a 30-yarder with 14 seconds left for the victory.

Cody Parkey kicked the only field goal between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and his 39-yarder with 22 seconds left wound up the game-winner for the Dolphins in a 31-28 victory.

Even in the Los Angeles Rams’ 33-0 rout of Arizona, Greg Zuerelein pitched in four field goals for the win in London.

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4:02 p.m.

Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker has been carted from the sideline to the locker room after hurting his right leg in a 12-9 overtime victory against the Cleveland Browns.

Walker, a two-time Pro Bowl tight end, hurt his lower leg after catching a 16-yard pass on the sideline. He was helped to the sideline and didn’t put any weight on his right leg.

He had a team-high seven catches for 63 yards when hurt.

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3:29 p.m.

Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka has tied an NFL record by making 12 consecutive field goals from 50 yards or longer.

Hauschka matched the mark set by four others with a 52-yarder to put Buffalo up 20-13 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with 13:31 left in the fourth quarter. The record is shared by Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould and Matt Prater.

The Bills signed Hauschka in free agency this offseason after spending the previous six seasons in Seattle. He’s now hit five straight attempts from 50 or more yards in Buffalo.

Hauschka’s streak dates to the start of the 2015 season with the Seahawks. He’s not missed an attempt from beyond 50 yards since missing a 50- and 52-yarder in a 35-6 win over Arizona on Dec. 21, 2014.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.

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3:25 p.m.

The Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings have combined to tie an NFL record with nine field goals made in their game.

Kai Forbath is 6 for 6 for the Vikings, and Justin Tucker is 3 for 3 for the Ravens.

This is the fourth time that an NFL game has produced this many made 3-pointers. The most recent one was in 2007, between Miami and Houston.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

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3:10 p.m.

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will not return to the game against the Rams in London after injuring his left arm in the second quarter.

Palmer was hit by Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree with 5:48 remaining in the quarter on a play that resulted in an interception.

He was replaced by Drew Stanton, who led a 7-play, 17-yard drive on his first series before throwing an interception from his own 25-yard line with 41 seconds remaining in the first half.

Also, the Rams announced center John Sullivan has left the game with a knee injury and is questionable to return.

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3 p.m.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler has left the field with a chest injury after being shaken up when hit by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins.

Cutler landed hard on his left shoulder as he threw a long incompletion and was slow to rise. He walked off the field, and was examined on the sideline before going to the locker room.

The Miami quarterback was replaced by Matt Moore with the Dolphins trailing 21-14. Cutler drew boos in his Dolphins home debut two weeks ago, and some Miami fans cheered when Moore entered the game.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida.

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2:45 p.m.

Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer has been benched again after throwing interceptions on consecutive passes.

Kizer was picked off late in the first half and on Cleveland’s first possession of the third quarter — both picks by Titans safety Kevin Byard.

Browns coach Hue Jackson sat Kizer last week in Houston, hoping he would learn from the time on the sideline to learn. Kizer has thrown 11 interceptions, four inside the red zone. This time, Cody Kessler replaced Kizer and drove the winless Browns to a field goal that tied the score at 6 late in the third quarter.

— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland

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2:13 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts have lost safety Malik Hooker, their first-round draft pick, late in the first half with what appears to be an injured right knee.

Hooker was injured on a 50-yard pass play from Blake Bortles to Allen Hurns — yet another tough moment in a rugged first half in which the Colts trailed Jacksonville 17-0. Hooker has been declared out for the rest of the game.

After a cart drove onto the field to take Hooker back to the locker room, the rookie got up and walked to the sideline under his own power.

Hooker has three interceptions this season and was tied for second in the league heading into Week 7.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

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1:27 p.m.

The Baltimore Ravens are down to three healthy wide receivers, after losing Mike Wallace to the concussion protocol.

Wallace departed in the first quarter at Minnesota after a jarring hit from the shoulder of Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo that left him lying on his back for a few minutes before slowly leaving the field on his own power.

The Ravens announced Wallace’s return as questionable. The contact was hard enough to knock Wallace’s helmet off and draw an unnecessary roughness call on Sendejo.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens are already playing without wide receivers Jeremy Maclin (shoulder), Breshad Perriman (concussion) and Chris Matthews (thigh). Wallace was also listed as questionable for the game because of a back injury.

Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore and Griff Whalen are the only healthy wide receivers remaining.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis.

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1:10 p.m.

Just one player appeared to protest visibly during the early NFL games Sunday, Rams linebacker Robert Quinn, who raised his fist during the U.S. anthem, then brought it down before “God Save The Queen.”

Most of the Indianapolis Colts locked arms before kickoff at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Cleveland, Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed inside the tunnel during the national anthem . In Miami, Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas and Julius Thomas all stayed in the locker room during the anthem.

Reporters at the other early games did not notice any other obvious protests.

Both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, who have had several players protesting every week, play later Sunday.

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1:06 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers are off to a great start without their injured starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Aaron Jones’ 46-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive gave Green Bay a 7-0 lead over the New Orleans Saints. Hundley is making his first NFL start, but the best play by far for the Packers has been a handoff to Jones, a rookie. He has 70 yards on four carries.

Jones started in place of Ty Montgomery, who is active. Montgomery started last week in his first game back from broken ribs.

— Genaro Armas reporting from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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The best game of Week 7 in the NFL will be under the lights when the Atlanta Falcons visit the champion New England Patriots in their Super Bowl rematch.

The Falcons have heard reminders for months about blowing their 28-3 lead as victims of the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.

The blown lead came on the NFL’s biggest stage, and even a win in the rematch won’t erase that.

The bulk of the schedule features eight games including another London game pitting the Los Angeles Rams and their NFC West rivals Arizona.

Rams running back Todd Gurley has made it very clear he doesn’t like being sent to England to play an opponent that is only a 45-minute flight away.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers love their analytics, collecting so much data that manager Dave Roberts proudly proclaims: “I don’t see any team that’s more prepared than we are.”

All the numbers, video and advanced scouting reports are great. But firsthand looks are nice, too.

So Curtis Granderson, what do you know about your World Series opponent, the Houston Astros?

“I saw them a couple times in spring training, when I was with the Mets,” the outfielder said.

OK, then.

Funny, in a way. The Astros and Dodgers have played more than 700 times over the years, but these clubs know very little about each other.

“A lot of it is going to be learning as you go,” Granderson said.

Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw is set to pitch Game 1 on Tuesday night against Dallas Keuchel at Dodger Stadium. Rich Hill will start Game 2 for the Dodgers vs. AL Championship Series MVP Justin Verlander.

Yu Darvish will start Game 3 for the Dodgers when the Series shifts to Houston on Friday night. Acquired from Texas on July 31, he’s the most familiar with the Astros.

Darvish is 5-5 in 14 career starts against them, including 1-1 this season.

Keuchel has never faced the Dodgers. Verlander beat Los Angeles on Aug. 20 with eight dominant innings, shortly before he got traded from Detroit.

“It’s hard to dismiss the two guys at the top of the rotation,” Roberts said, also praising Houston’s “athleticism” and “ability to slug.”

The Astros showed off all facets Saturday night, beating the New York Yankees 4-0 in Game 7 of the ALCS.

The Dodgers haven’t played the Astros since 2015, when they dropped a three-game series at Houston. The previous time they met was 2012, back when Houston was still in the National League and stuck in the midst of three straight 100-loss seasons.

Boosted by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, the Astros are now among the elite teams in the majors.

Hill also knows how quickly things can turn around. Wearing a hat that had a World Series emblem on the side, the 37-year-old reflected on where he was fairly recently.

In 2015, beset by injuries, no team in the big leagues wanted him and he wound up pitching for the Long Island Ducks.

“A couple years ago, I was using a bucket in independent ball as a toilet,” he said.

Not anymore.

Hill became a valuable member of the Dodgers’ staff, signed a rich contract and has helped them make it back to the World Series for the first time since 1988.

Like Hill, All-Star shortstop Corey Seager is expected to make his first World Series appearance. Seager got there a bit faster — at 23, a season after he was the NL Rookie of the Year.

Seager didn’t play in the NL Championship Series against the Cubs because of a back injury. But Roberts said team was “very confident” Seager was ready to return.

Seager hit .295 with 22 home runs and 77 RBIs this year. He went 3 for 11 with four walks in the NL Division Series against Arizona, but tweaked his back during a slide in Game 3.

Charlie Culberson did well while filling in for Seager during the NLCS. Chris Taylor also saw action at shortstop against the Cubs and was the co-MVP of the series.

It is possible Seager could be the designated hitter for the Dodgers when the Series moves to Houston.

“In a perfect world, he would play shortstop and hit second,” Roberts said.