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Dodgers hitters reintroduce themselves to left-handed pitching this weekend

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LA facing 2 LHP in the first 2 games against the Angels

Los Angeles Dodgers take on the San Francisco Giants during a MLB baseball game on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The Dodgers head to Anaheim for a weekend Freeway Series with the Angels, and for the first two games of the series they face left-handed starting pitchers. the first time they’ve done so since July 30.

Patrick Sandoval and Andrew Heaney start the first two games of the series for the Angels, ending a string of 13 consecutive right-handed starting pitchers faced. It’s been a weird schedule, since that came after facing four southpaws in the first seven games.

Facing right-handers hasn’t hurt the Dodgers offense. They have a 122 wRC+ against RHP (tied for second in MLB), hitting .251/.328/.481, and have the most plate appearances of any team in baseball against them. The Dodgers have faced righties in 78.4 percent of plate appearances, the 10th-highest in MLB (league average is 73 percent).

Against lefties, they’ve atrophied, hitting just .193/.293/.352, an 84 wRC+, after 103, 101, and 109 wRC+ over the previous three seasons. Consider Kiké Hernández, who historically pounds lefties. He’s 4-for-11 (.364) with a home run and double against southpaws this season, but since facing Arizona starter Robbie Ray on July 30, Hernández has faced a lefty in only two plate appearances (he’s 1-for-2). He’s faced right-handed pitchers 24 times.

Designated hitting

Corey Seager’s return to the lineup on Thursday came at designated hitter, and included a home run in his first at-bat after missing five games with lower back discomfort. Manager Dave Roberts said Seager could be back at shortstop as early as Friday in Anaheim, but no matter who the Dodgers put at DH they’ve produced this season.

Dodgers designated hitters are hitting .270/.372/.514 with four home runs and 15 RBI through 20 games. If they keep it up, maybe one of them can join this eclectic quintet of Dodgers DHs to hit a home run in Anaheim:

  • Chad Kreuter, June 16, 2001
  • Mike Kinkade, June 29, 2003
  • Bobby Abreu, June 22, 2012
  • Ramon Hernandez, May 30, 2013
  • Matt Kemp, August 6, 2014

Those have come in 62 road interleague games against the Angels, of which the Dodgers have won 22 games.

Game info

Time: 6:40 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West, FS1