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Sunday, October 17, 2021
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    Los Angeles Dodgers to start Albert Pujols at first base in Game 3 of NLDS – ESPN

    LOS ANGELES — Albert Pujols, the three-time MVP who has been used primarily as a late-game pinch-hitter, will start at first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Monday night.

    The Dodgers will be deploying most of their right-handed hitters against San Francisco Giants lefty Alex Wood, also starting Chris Taylor in center field and keeping A.J. Pollock in left field.

    Cody Bellinger, who has been struggling mightily all season but came up with a big double in the Dodgers’ Game 2 win, will be on the bench at the onset but will probably check into the game once the Giants begin using their right-handed relievers.

    Pujols, 41, will be starting a playoff game for the first time since Game 3 of the 2014 American League Division Series, as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.

    Pujols has been particularly effective against opposing left-handed pitchers this season, batting .294/.336/.603. Wood, who will oppose three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, had pretty even splits this season (righties had a .682 OPS against him, lefties had a .674 OPS). Neither team has announced a Game 4 starter.

    The Dodgers didn’t work out at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, but the Giants spilled onto the field for workouts close to 8 p.m. PT. Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who wore street clothes while his players took batting practice and did some defensive work, called Pujols “one of the greatest hitters that ever lived.”

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