Preview: Dodgers Start Right-Handed Batters Against Padres’ Clayton Richard
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers opened another season against the San Diego Padres in the same dominant fashion, and they look to build on that in the second of their four-game series at Dodger Stadium. Tuesday’s matchup is a duel between Kenta Maeda and Clayton Richard.

Facing a left-hander, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has inserted a bevy of right-handed batters into his lineup. That amounts to Kiké Hernandez starting in center field and hitting eighth, and Franklin Gutierrez starting in left field and batting cleanup.

Logan Forsythe, who hit fifth on Opening Day, returns to the leadoff spot he occupied with regularity throughout the spring. Forsythe went 1-for-3 and was twice hit by a pitch in his Dodgers debut.

Maeda takes the mound five days removed from a final Spring Training tuneup he was satisfied with. Many recall Maeda’s MLB debut last season against the Padres on the road.

All he did was throw six scoreless innings, collect four strikeouts, and hit a home run en route to earning his first Major League win. In four starts against the Padres last season, Maeda went 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.

Of those four starts, only one came at Dodger Stadium. During that outing, Maea allowed just one run on two hits and notched a career-high 13 strikeouts in seven innings pitched.

The 28-year-old went 16-11 with a 3.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 112 ERA+ and 3.58 FIP, and finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. Maeda believes he’s better prepared for the 2017 season than he was for his first year in the Majors.

Richard spent five seasons with the Padres before joining the Chicago Cubs in 2015. The Cubs eventually released Richard, which paved the way to him re-joining with the Padres.

Richard’s repertoire relies heavily on the use of his sinker, which can hover around 92 mph. He also throws on a knuckle-curve, a four-seam fastball and a changeup. In time split between the Cubs and Padres in 2016, the southpaw went 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 123 ERA+ and 4.17 FIP.

The 33-year-old made a start against the Dodgers both as a member of the Cubs and Padres last season, with his outing while with the Padres coming at Chavez Ravine. During that Sept. 2 game, he allowed one run on nine hits and issued one walk in five innings pitched.

The 10-year veteran has made 19 appearances (17 starts) against the Dodgers, going 6-4 with a 3.73 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.

Although Adrian Gonzalez is a lifetime 10-for-17 with five RBI against Richard, he was dropped to sixth in the Dodgers lineup. Gutierrez is 8-for-15 off the Padres starter, with one double, a home run and two RBIs.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Logan Forsythe
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Franklin Gutierrez
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Granda
CF: Kiké Hernandez
P: Kenta Maeda

Padres lineup:

LF: Travis Jankowski
CF: Manuel Margot
1B: Wil Myers
2B: Yangervis Solarte
3B: Ryan Schimpf
RF: Hunter Renfroe
C: Austin Hedges
SS: Erick Aybar
P: Clayton Richard