Los Angeles Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw takes the mound tonight in Dodger Stadium with a (16-3) record after 22 starts and a 1.73 ERA, a 1.81 FIP, 23 walks (1.28 BB/9) and 194 Ks (10.82 K/9) in 161 ⅓ IP over which he's been worth +5.9 fWAR.
The Dodgers' southpaw has held left-handed hitters to a .171/.202/.209 line thus far this season.
Right-handed hitters haven't fared much better, with Kershaw holding righties to a .198/.233/.315 line, and in L.A., he's held visiting hitters, left-handed or right-handed to a .187/.211/.301 line overall.
Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams has gone right-hand heavy tonight in the Nats' second game of three in Chavez Ravine.
Williams told reporters last night that he wasn't sure if left-handed hitting first baseman Adam LaRoche, who has been dealing with lower back issue, would be available tonight.
"It's pretty painful right now," Williams said after the Nats' 6-4 win in the series opener. "So we'll see how he does tonight. We've got a little time with the earlier game tonight and the later game tomorrow, we'll see."
When the lineup for tonight's game was released, it was not surprising that LaRoche's name wasn't on it.
In his place, Kevin Frandsen is playing first.
The veteran infielder has a .344/.355/.377 line in 62 plate appearances against left-handers so far this season. He's 1 for 6 career vs Kershaw.
Denard Span, who's 0 for 5 vs the Dodgers' starter in his career, hit two home runs last night, and he has a .273/.335/.351 line in 173 PAs vs lefties this season, but he's sitting against Kershaw too, with Bryce Harper, who has put up a .282/.356/.436 line against left-handers in 87 PAs this season is starting in center.
Harper's 0 for 3 vs Kershaw in his first three major league campaigns.
In left field, with Harper in center, it's Scott Hairston, who's posted a .289/.340/.378 line in 50 PAs vs lefties this season. Hairston's 9 for 25 (.360 AVG) vs Kershaw in their respective careers.
The Nationals, as a team, have a combined .272/.333/.397 line vs LHPs this season, good for 1st/2nd/5th across the line in the National League.
The Nats took down King Felix in Seattle this past weekend... Can they beat Kershaw in L.A.?
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the second game of three in Dodger Stadium: