The Dodgers are 35-15 (.700) in games against left-handed starting pitchers this season, including 2-0 in the postseason. That’s the best record against lefties in baseball, and the Dodgers have won 25 of their last 31 games against southpaw starters.
Cody Bellinger is the lone left-handed bat among the Dodgers’ eight position players, and hit .271/.335/.568 against left-handers this season, and his 12 home runs were the most in baseball by a left-handed hitter against left-handed pitching.
Game 2 lineups
|1B||Rizzo (L)||1B||Bellinger (L)|
|P||Lester (L)||P||Hill (L)|
“Ever since 2015 in Rancho I learned something, and it just kind of took that and ran with it. I kind of had some success,” Bellinger said. “For whatever reason, I don’t get scared away from a lefty. Just kind of makes me stay within myself a little bit.”
Bellinger hit a three-run home run against Lester at Dodger Stadium on May 28.
“In those certain situations against top pitchers maybe some people try to maybe get scared away. But it’s all mental,” Bellinger said. “I just try to treat it like it was a lefty that I’ve never faced before. I took the name out of it. I just thought it was another lefty that was throwing a cutter and a curveball.
“That’s kind of how I go about my business against these star pitchers.”
Kiké Hernandez also homered against Lester in that May 28 game. He bats cleanup for a second straight day.
The Dodgers as a team hit .253/.342/.447 against left-handed pitchers in 2017, second in the majors in home runs (65), fourth in wOBA (.337), fourth in wRC+ (109), and fifth in OPS (.789).
The Cubs are also facing a second straight left-handed pitcher in Rich Hill, and made one lineup change. Jason Heyward, who sat against Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, starts in right field for Game 2. That means a seat for Kyle Schwarber, who played left field on Saturday, and Jon Jay moves from right field to left field on Sunday.