Dodgers-Braves NLCS Game 1 lineups: Kiké Hernández gets nod for first time in playoffs

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Los Angeles Dodgers' Kiké Hernandez touches the jersey No. 21.
Kiké Hernández will make his first postseason start of 2020, playing second base for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The Dodgers’ lineup will look a bit different for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

With left-hander Max Fried on the mound for the Atlanta Braves, Kiké Hernández, who has a history of success against left-handers, will make his first start of the postseason. Hernández will start at second base. Chris Taylor, the Dodgers’ second baseman for their first five playoff games, will move to left field. AJ Pollock will move from left field to designated hitter.

Hernández has appeared in each of the Dodgers’ five playoff games but as a pinch-hitter or late-game defensive replacement. He’s 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and a hit by pitch in six plate appearances. Hernández is one for three against Fried. He batted .217 with a .673 OPS in 50 plate appearances against lefties during the regular season, but has an .820 career OPS against left-handers.

Edwin Ríos started as the Dodgers’ designated hitter the one other time they encountered a left-handed starting pitcher — the Milwaukee Brewers’ Brent Suter in Game 1 of the wild-card series. Ríos, however, will be limited to pinch-hitting duties to start the series as he continues progressing from a groin injury that forced him to sit out the NL Division Series.

Hernández will bat eighth, between Pollock and Taylor, against Fried, who emerged as an NL Cy Young Award contender during the season but has had an uneven postseason. The Studio City Harvard-Westlake High graduate tossed seven scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds in the wild-card series. The Miami Marlins scored four runs in four innings off him in the NLDS.

Walker Buehler will start opposite Fried. Buehler has begun his postseason career with at least seven strikeouts in each of his eight starts, but hasn’t thrown more than four innings in over a month because of a blister on his right index finger.

DODGERS LINEUP

Mookie Betts RF

Corey Seager SS

Justin Turner 3B

Max Muncy 1B

Will Smith C

Cody Bellinger CF

AJ Pollock DH

Kiké Hernández 2B

Chris Taylor LF

Walker Buehler RHP

BRAVES LINEUP

Ronald Acuña Jr. CF

Freddie Freeman 1B

Marcell Ozuna DH

Travis d’Arnaud C

Ozzie Albies 2B

Dansby Swanson SS

Adam Duvall LF

Nick Markakis RF

Austin Riley 3B

Max Fried LHP

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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