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Dodgers stack right-handed hitters against left-hander Matz, Mets

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have stacked their lineup with seven right-handed batters in their series opener against the Mets, though it has as much to do with the schedule ahead as it does with the fact that left-hander Steven Matz starts on Monday night for the Mets.

Adrian Gonzalez gets the start at first base, as he has done in all but one game in 2016. He is the only left-handed position player in the lineup, though manager Dave Roberts said Gonzalez would likely get a day off at some point on the nine-game homestand.

The Dodgers on Monday play the fourth of 20 games in 20 days.

The left-handed Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Chase Utley and Carl Crawford all sit against Matz, who actually has reverse platoon splits in his brief, 11-start MLB career — lefties have hit .311/.425/.328, compared to .231/.262/.324 for right-handers — though that is partially fueled by batting average on balls in play, .422 for lefties and .285 for righties.

Instead, the right-handed Trayce Thompson, Charlie Culberson, Howie Kendrick and Kiké Hernandez get the starts in center field, shortstop, second base and left field, respectively.

A.J. Ellis gets the start at catcher, his ninth start in 10 opportunities against an opposing left-hander.

"We have a string of right-handers coming up, so this was a day to give Charlie an opportunity to go out there and play. It was nice to get Kiké in there, and Trayce as well," Roberts said. "I don't even mind the lefties in there against Matz, but this was more scheduling with the pitchers coming up."

The Dodgers will face three right-handed pitchers in the remainder of the Mets series, then three right-handers over the weekend with St. Louis in town.

The only two active Mets hitters to face Scott Kazmir in more than seven plate appearances are Asdrubal Cabrera, who is 2-for-17 (.118) with adouble and three walks, and Curtis Granderson is 3-for-11 (.273) with a home run, a triple and three walks.

Yoenis Cespedes is 0-for-6 with five strikeouts and a walk against Kazmir.