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Dodgers-Braves NLCS Game 1 lineups: Kiké Hernández gets nod for first time in playoffs

Kiké Hernández, who will make his first postseason start of 2020, playing second base for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Kiké Hernández will make his first postseason start of 2020, playing second base for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ lineup will look a bit different for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

With left-hander Max Fried on the mound for the Atlanta Braves, Kiké Hernández, who has a history of success against left-handers, will make his first start of the postseason. Hernández will start at second base. Chris Taylor, the Dodgers’ second baseman for their first five playoff games, will move to left field. AJ Pollock will move from left field to designated hitter.

Hernández has appeared in each of the Dodgers’ five playoff games but as a pinch-hitter or late-game defensive replacement. He’s 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and a hit by pitch in six plate appearances. Hernández is one for three against Fried. He batted .217 with a .673 OPS in 50 plate appearances against lefties during the regular season, but has an .820 career OPS against left-handers.

Edwin Ríos started as the Dodgers’ designated hitter the one other time they encountered a left-handed starting pitcher — the Milwaukee Brewers’ Brent Suter in Game 1 of the wild-card series. Ríos, however, will be limited to pinch-hitting duties to start the series as he continues progressing from a groin injury that forced him to sit out the NL Division Series.

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Freddie Freeman attended Orange El Modena High after his mother died of melanoma. His father, Fredrick, and coach Steve Bernard helped him cope and develop.

Hernández will bat eighth, between Pollock and Taylor, against Fried, who emerged as an NL Cy Young Award contender during the season but has had an uneven postseason. The Studio City Harvard-Westlake High graduate tossed seven scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card series. The Miami Marlins scored four runs in four innings off him in the NLDS.

Walker Buehler will start opposite Fried. Buehler has begun his postseason career with at least seven strikeouts in each of his eight starts, but hasn’t thrown more than four innings in over a month because of a blister on his right index finger.

DODGERS LINEUP
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Will Smith C
Cody Bellinger CF
AJ Pollock DH
Kiké Hernández 2B
Chris Taylor LF
Walker Buehler RHP

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BRAVES LINEUP
Ronald Acuña Jr. CF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Marcell Ozuna DH
Travis d’Arnaud C
Ozzie Albies 2B
Dansby Swanson SS
Adam Duvall LF
Nick Markakis RF
Austin Riley 3B
Max Fried LHP


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