Thursday night’s Dodgers lineup against the Padres looks like a product of planned rest for some as well as time running out in the club’s pursuit of home field advantage in the NLDS against the Nationals.
With Washington winning earlier on Thursday, the Nationals hold a 2½-game lead over the Dodgers and a magic number of two to clinch home field in the NLDS. For the series to start in Los Angeles, the Dodgers need six of the seven remaining games to fall their way.
Corey Seager got a planned day off on Thursday after starting the last 22 games, with Charlie Culberson getting the start at shortstop against Padres left-hander Christian Friedrich.
Adrian Gonzalez has battled a sinus infection this series and left each of the first two games early, though not before hitting a home run and RBI double on Wednesday night. He gets a night off on Thursday, with Howie Kendrick starting at first base.
Yasiel Puig bats cleanup and starts in right field, his eighth start against eight left-handers in September since his return from Triple-A Oklahoma City. This month against southpaws, Puig is 9-for-29 (.310) with four home runs, a double, three walks and 10 RBI.
Kiké Hernandez is in the lineup as always against a southpaw (outside of his disabled list stint, this gives Hernandez 36 starts in 36 games against left-handed starters), though tonight starts at second base for the first time since Aug. 20. His last 13 starts came in the outfield.
Rob Segedin starts in left field, his fourth start in September.
Carlos Ruiz gets a start behind the plate.
Joc Pederson gets the call in center field, his seventh start in 43 games against left-handed pitchers in 2016. Pederson is 5-for-55 (.091) with a home run, a double and 11 walks against southpaws this season.