The Dodgers won’t have to face another left-handed starting pitcher this series, so they will rely on their regular lineup chock full of left-handed bats against the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Wrigley Field.
They did make a change, moving spark plug Andrew Toles to the leadoff spot for the first time all season.
Toles, 24, makes his fourth start in the series and eighth in 11 games during the postseason, batting eighth in left field. With two doubles, Toles leads the Dodgers in extra-base hits in the NLCS, and is 5-for-10 with a walk and a sacrifice fly so far against the Cubs.
The only Dodger to bat at least .500 (minimum four plate appearances) in a League Championship Series is Manny Ramirez, who was 8-for-15 (.533) in the 2008 NLCS.
Toles was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in Game 2 against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.
Chase Utley, who batted leadoff 112 times for the Dodgers during the regular season and seven more times in the playoffs, was moved to eighth in the batting order. Utley is 3-for-26 (.115) with three walks and a hit by pitch this postseason, including 0-for-10 with two walks in the NLCS.
Jason Heyward sits again for the Cubs in Game 6, with Albert Almora Jr. instead starting in right field and batting eighth. Heyward tripled in his first at-bat of Game 1 but in the NLCS is just 1-for-16 with a walk. During the 2016 playoffs Heyward is 2-for-28, including 0-for-11 with four strikeouts against left-handed pitchers.
Heyward hit .207/.300/.286 against southpaws in 2016, and in his career is 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts against Clayton Kershaw.
Almora, another in a long supply of young, talented players the Cubs have, hit .277/.308/.455 in 117 plate appearances in 2016, his first major league experience, including .262/.279/.548 with six doubles and two home runs in 43 plate appearances against lefties. The 22-year-old right-hander was drafted in the first round, sixth overall, by the Cubs in 2012.