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Dodgers shake things up in lineup for series opener in San Diego

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They lead the Padres by 2.5 games in the division

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Dodgers already have a playoff spot locked up, the division is still up for grabs. Though winning the division means nothing this year along with having the No. 1 seed, it would still be nice to have, right?

Entering Monday’s game, the Dodgers hold a 2.5 game lead over the Padres in the division. How fitting that these are the two teams that will be squaring off for a crucial three-game series.

For more of a breakdown on the series, make sure you check out Eric’s great preview on it.

Anyways, the Dodgers released their lineup, and it is quite interesting.

The biggest takeaway is that Joc Pederson is hitting third in the lineup. This will be only the 13th time of his career he’s hit in the No. 3 spot and the first time he’s hit there since 2019. Though a very small sample size, Pederson has hit .200 from that spot and has the second worst OPS (.627) there. The likely reason for Pederson being in that spot is the fact he rakes at Petco Park. He has eight homers there, tied for the most of any park other than Dodger Stadium. His .961 OPS is also the highest among parks he’s played at least 40 games in.

Speaking of small sample size, he has three homers at Petco Park this season.

Speaking of the rest of the lineup, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor follow with Cody Bellinger coming in at the No. 6 spot. This will be the fourth time this season Bellinger has hit sixth. He’s done well, hitting .333.

The lineup finishes off with Edwin Rios, Gavin Lux and Austin Barnes. Although Will Smith has been the hottest hitter for the Dodgers over the week, Dave Roberts opted to go with Barnes and wanted to give smith the day off.

Dodgers news and notes

  • Justin Turner could be activated tomorrow. If he is, he’ll be used to DH.
  • Roberts believes Dustin May will be able to make the start on Wednesday