Left-handed hitters will fill middle of Dodgers’ batting order vs. Braves in Game 4
The Dodgers’ lineup will have a different look in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.
For their first eight postseason games, Los Angeles used lineups that alternated between right-handed and left-handed hitters one through nine. On Thursday, they’ll have four straight left-handed hitters in the middle of the order opposite rookie right-hander Bryse Wilson.
Joc Pederson will play left field and bat fifth after going four for six with a home run in Game 3; it’s the highest he’s hit in the postseason. Edwin Ríos, who homered in Game 3, will start for the second straight game, this time as the designated hitter. The five left-handed hitters in the lineup — Corey Seager, Max Munch, Cody Bellinger, Rios and Pederson — were 12 for 23 with five home runs and 13 RBIs on Wednesday.
As expected, Austin Barnes will catch Clayton Kershaw, leaving Will Smith out of the lineup for the first time in the playoffs. Chris Taylor will also sit for the first time in the playoffs. Both players, however, could be inserted once the Braves go to a left-handed reliever. Kiké Hernández will make his second start of the playoffs at second base.
An explosive first inning for the Dodgers in their 15-3 rout over the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NLCS set the tone throughout game, writes columnist Bill Plaschke.
Wilson will be the third straight rookie starter for Atlanta. It’ll be his first career playoff appearance. He allowed seven runs in 15 2/3 innings (4.02 ERA) across six games during the regular season. He made two starts.
Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile, will make his 28th career postseason start. He’ll pitch after he was scratched from his scheduled Game 2 start. The Dodgers said he was dealing with back spasms. Kershaw has allowed three runs in 14 innings with 19 strikeouts and one walk in two starts this postseason.
Mookie Betts RF
Corey Seager SS
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 1B
Joc Pederson LF
Cody Bellinger CF
Edwin Ríos DH
Kiké Hernández 2B
Austin Barnes C
Clayton Kershaw LHP
Ronald Acuña Jr. RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Marcell Ozuna DH
Travis d’Arnaud C
Ozzie Albies 2B
Dansby Swanson SS
Austin Riley LF
Johan Camargo 3B
Cristian Pache LF
Bryse Wilson RHP
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