Dodgers not producing against left-handed pitchers

Greg Fiume

The Dodgers are 4-5 against southpaw starters, and near the bottom of baseball in offensive production against left-handed pitchers so far in 2014.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers get their third crack at Madison Bumgarner on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, hoping to improve their performance against left-handed pitching this season.

The Dodgers are hitting .216/.286/.358 against southpaws this season, 30th in baseball in OBP, 26th in OPS (.644), 26th in adjusted OPS+ (79), 21st in slugging percentage, 29th in batting average, 25th in wOBA (.288) and 24th in wRC+ (84).

The team is 4-5 against left-handed starters this season. Opposing southpaw starters have a 2.77 ERA in nine games against the Dodgers, with 59 strikeouts and 23 walks in 52 innings. The Dodgers have scored more than two runs off a left-handed starter in just two of those nine games, and both of those were against Wade Miley.

The bulk of the innings against left-handed pitchers for the Dodgers this year have come against Miley and Bumgarner, who after Friday will have accounted for six of 10 starts.

The chief producers against southpaws for the Dodgers this year have been Scott Van Slyke and Hanley Ramirez, each of whom has four doubles and three home runs in 31 plate appearances. Both of Drew Butera's home runs have come against lefties, against whom he is 3-for-9 with two walks, leading the Dodgers with a 1.455 OPS.

The ones who have struggled against left-handed pitchers include some you might have expected, as Andre Ethier is 2-for-16 (.347 OPS) against southpaws and Carl Crawford is 2-for-17 (.343 OPS).

But Matt Kemp, a career .342/.405/.571 hitter against southpaws entering this season, is just 5-for-35 with three doubles (.395 OPS) this year. Adrian Gonzalez, a left-handed batter who has held his own in his career against lefties (.278/.343/.441) is just 10-for-43 (.643 OPS) with 19 strikeouts this year.

The team has been platooning at second base, but both Justin Turner (5-for-29, .467 OPS) and Dee Gordon (5-for-27, .407 OPS) have both struggled against southpaws.

The Dodgers start a left-hander of their own, with Paul Maholm getting the call on Friday night. The Giants are 10-6 against southpaws this season, and are hitting .268/.343/.438, sixth in MLB in OPS (.781), sixth in OPS+ (117), eighth in wOBA (.343) and fourth in wRC+ (122) against lefties.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA

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