Mookie Betts gets a day off in Dodgers-Rockies series opener
One day after Corey Seager was given a day off, Mookie Betts will get a rest Friday as the Dodgers open a three-game home series against the Colorado Rockies.
Betts had started 14 straight games for the Dodgers after returning from a finger injury earlier this month, a stretch during which he became the team’s primary leadoff hitter and batted .298 with seven home runs and 15 RBI.
Joc Pederson will fill in for Betts as the Dodgers’ right fielder and leadoff hitter, his ninth time this year batting at the top of the order. Seager returns at shortstop and will bat second, while Cody Bellinger will be the designated hitter and bat fourth.
In addition to those three lefties, second baseman Max Muncy will hit fifth and first baseman Matt Beaty will bat seventh, giving the Dodgers five left-handed hitters to face right-handed Rockies starter Jon Gray.
Gray this season has a 1-2 record and 5.74 ERA for a Rockies (13-12) team that has lost nine of its last 11 and four straight after an 11-3 start to the season. They begin Friday third in the National League West, five games back of the Dodgers (19-8).
Walker Buehler will make his fifth start for the Dodgers, entering the game with a 5.21 ERA in 19 innings.
The right-hander allowed a season-high in runs his last outing, giving up five runs (four earned) in 4⅔ innings against the Angels. His walk rate (4.26 per nine innings) and home run rate (2.37 per nine) are both significantly above his career norms, while his strikeout rate (8.05 per nine) would be a career-low in his fourth year in the big leagues. He has received no-decision in each of his previous outings this year.
Dodgers starting lineup
1. Joc Pederson — Right field
2. Corey Seager — Shortstop
3. Justin Turner — Third base
4. Cody Bellinger — Designated hitter
5. Max Muncy — Second base
6. AJ Pollock — Center field
7. Matt Beaty — First base
8. Chris Taylor — Left field
9. Austin Barnes — Catcher
Walker Buehler — Starting pitcher
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