The Los Angeles Dodgers have been in a rut on their homestand thus far and now are shorthanded for the second game of the series against the Cincinnati Reds due to Mookie Betts being scratched from the lineup because of right ankle soreness.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Betts suffered the minor injury on Friday night while attempting to avoid being hit by a pitch. Betts is dealing with swelling in his right ankle and considered day-to-day.
David Peralta is penciled into the leadoff spot of a Dodgers lineup that looks to provide run support for Emmet Sheehan in his seventh start of the season.
After allowing eight earned runs in just 3.2 innings pitched to the Texas Rangers in his last start, Sheehan’s season ERA ballooned to 6.75 in 29.1 innings.
The 23-year-old has struggled mightily in his prior three outings, allowing a .315 opposing batting average, with 17 earned runs on 17 hits. Sheehan’s three-pitch mix hasn’t been a recipe for success, and against lineups that aren’t susceptible to chasing outside the strike zone, he faces a tough path to success.
Finding strikes early in the count is the key for Sheehan against the Reds, who have bested the Dodgers in three of four matchups thus far in 2023.
The Reds counter with Luke Weaver, who like Sheehan has endured his own rough patch. He enters play with a 7.20 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, with just 65 strikeouts in 80 innings.
Over his last seven starts, Weaver has allowed 28 earned runs on 47 hits, striking out just 16 batters. However, he’s posted a 1-0 record in that span, because the Reds’ offense provides him with 6.12 runs of support every time he takes the mound.
The Dodgers deploy their bevy of platoon bats against Weaver, giving Peralta, James Outman and Jason Heyward a shot to do damage. A strategy the Reds will certainly use is when to use their lefty-bullpen arms to break up the run of left-handed hitters in the latter parts of the game.
Phil Bickford was designated for assignment in order to make room for Joe Kelly on the Dodgers’ active roster.
2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: J.D. Martinez
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas
SS: Elly De La Cruz
CF: TJ Friedl
2B: Matt McLain
RF: Jake Fraley
3B: Spencer Steer
1B: Joey Votto
DH: Christian Encarnacion-Strand
LF: Nick Senzel
C: Luke Maile
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!