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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Just Stops Short of Naming Lineup for Game 3



The Dodgers look to take the series lead over the Giants tonight in Los Angeles. Max Scherzer is on the mound for the boys in blue facing old friend Alex Wood at 6:37 PM PT. While both teams mostly took Sunday as a bit of a rest and recovery day, Dodger manager Dave Roberts jumped on a call with media where, in essence, he revealed most of his lineup plans for Monday night.

Albert Pujols would be starting at first base against the left-handed Wood. Will Smith would start his 4th straight game of the postseason, leaving Austin Barnes once again on the bench without Clayton Kershaw available this October. AJ Pollock will start again in left field and Chris Taylor starts in center.

So Cody Bellinger will be on the bench after a clutch 2-run double in game 2 and Matt Beaty will remain back in his pinch hitter role for Doc.

Related: Is Cody Bellinger Back? The Offense Adjusts Big Time & More

In theory, it makes sense that Roberts would go with the right-handed heavy lineup against Alex Wood. The lefty posted a fine year for San Francisco in 2021 (10-4, 3.83 ERA in 26 starts). But he also surprisingly had reverse batting splits against him. Right-handed batters his .230 in 405 at-bats while lefty swingers hit .258 in 124 ABs. Over his career, Wood has posted mostly neutral splits, with LHBs hitting a hair below RHBs (.248 to .250).

Corey Seager should be the lone left-handed batter in the starting lineup tonight.

Expected Lineup

  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Corey Seager
  3. Trea Turner
  4. Justin Turner
  5. Will Smith
  6. Albert Pujols
  7. Chris Taylor
  8. AJ Pollock
  9. Max Scherzer

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NEXT: Dave Roberts Plans to Approach Game 3 As a Must-Win

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Ok. So I was right about Pujols and wrong about Barnes. Somewhat surprised, and I hope Smith’s porous defense doesn’t come back to bite the Dodgers.

    Let’s clobber those Giants!

  2. Funny how we talk about data and sabermetrics so much, but we ignore large sample sizes of reverse splits. I still can’t understand this. Muncy is a good example of this, where he has a large sample of hitting lefties better than righties, but people still bring in lefties vs him.

    Wood is the same way, but only slightly better vs righties than lefties, as the article states. But this year he’s reasonably better vs righties.

    • I generally agree with your point, reverse splits are often overlooked and decisions sometimes arbitrarily ignore them. Muncy was a good example. On the other hand, splits involve both the pitcher and the hitter. For instance, while Wood may have reverse splits as far as batting average, Pujols at this stage is far better against lefties. And if you look at OPS, which is much more significant than batting average, righties hit Wood for a higher OPS than lefties.

  3. John, very good point. Some things are done just because they are done, if that makes any sense. Lots of decisions today are done by robotic methods, no gut feel anymore. Like Kevin Cash’s inexplicable decision to yank Snell in the WS last year when he was un-hitable! Two batters later and the Dodgers had the lead!

  4. Tonight, when you have a shift on, someone needs to bunt for the easy single….. Win at all costs.

    Let’s go Dodgers!!!!!!!

    • Doug, I simply can’t understand why nobody does it. Seems like an automatic hit to me. But what do I know lol.

    • Doug, because sacrifices go against RBI chances, and the modern player is conditioned to hit in runs which will make them more money. When anyone or everyone who has a coached or played knows that the bunt, hit and run, suicide squeeze, safety squeeze manufactures runs against the best pitching, that’s why it was created and had been successful for over 100 years. I believe it’s selfish reasons why they don’t anylonger, greed over winning…My Opinion…

      • Did everyone forget that in last year’s WS, Austin Barnes hit a HR and had a successful suicide squeeze bunt in the same game!

  5. Kirk, interesting take. But how does that account for it not being used in Non-RBI situations??? Hmmm?

  6. For instance, if a guy leads off with a bunt single instead of trying for a Home run he get’s a hit and no RBI, Homer get’s both. If a guy lays down a bunt with runners on 1st and second and no outs, he moves the runners over to 2nd and third in scoring position, or runner on 1st and 1 out he bunts the runner into scoring position. The hitter gives up his RBI chance by doing so rather than try to hit a homer. If you’ve watched this team this year they POP up more than any team I’ve seen “ESPECIALLY” with runners on 1st and 2nd nobody out. It’s extremely frustrating to watch and the only reasonable conclusion i can come up with is because of the players individual RBI numbers might suffer. In my generation, and playing days if you popped out with runners on 1st and second with no out, and didn’t move the runners in scoring position, your fanny would be sat down.

    • Kirk, have to agree with the final statement for sure! But I think the bases empty anti-bunt argument is weak. Yes the 1&2 pop ups are extremely annoying.

  7. Just a thought about having all RHB in there with exception of Seager, that leaves little RH answers on the bench. I believe Barnes and Souza Jr. are left on bench with the remaining bench having LHB. Wood may have reverse splits but I figure Giants would know which players remain on bench and we might see a lot of later inning Giant lefties from their pen but WSS. Hopefully Wood gets knocked out early enough and Dodgers can go from there against whoever they bring in.

    • For sure Paul. The line up with Pujols leaves zero with right handers. Lux, beaty and Bellinger at least can all run, so maybe Drrrrrr could use one to pinch run for Albert. Or, Drrrrr could pinch run gonsolin like he’sdone in the past, or even buehler. But Urias would be just as good of a option as those 3…..Hopefully Drrrrrr will get creative…

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