Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Explains Decision To Start Yasmani Grandal In NLDS Game 3
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In a break from a traditional National League Division Series schedule, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals are playing a third game in as many days. For the Dodgers, it’s their first time facing a left-handed starter in the postseason.

They finished the regular season ranked last in batting average (.213), on-base percentage (.290), slugging (.332), wOBA (.275) and wRC+ (72) against southpaws. In keeping with the strategy used throughout the year, the Dodgers’ lineup for Game 3 features a bevy of right-handed batters.

However, one exception is behind the plate. Although Carlos Ruiz was acquired in part to help address the team’s deficiencies against lefties, Yasmani Grandal forms the battery with Kenta Maeda.

“I like the way Yasmani handles the pitching staff and has familiarity with Kenta,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday morning. “The way he can receive, throw. I still trust he can get on base against a left-handed pitcher.”

Grandal hit .224/.385/.395 with one double, four home runs and 12 RBI off southpaws. That’s compared to a .229/.327/.497 batting line with 13 doubles, 23 home runs and 60 RBI against right-handed pitching.

Through the first two games of the NLDS, he’s 2-for-7 with one walk and two strikeouts. Only two at-bats in the series have come against a lefty. Grandal singled off Sammy Solis in Game 1, and struck out against Marc Rzepczynski in Game 2.

Aside from the switch-hitting Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson are the lone left-handed batters in the lineup for Game 3 against Gio Gonzalez. Same-side hitters batted .241/.302/.331 off Gonzalez this season.