Braves Vs. Dodgers Game 4 Preview: Clayton Kershaw Starts As L.A. Looks To Even NLCS

On the heels of Wednesday’s historic offensive display, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to even up the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves in Game 4.

After being scratched from his expected Game 2 start due to back spasms, Clayton Kershaw returns to the mound. Taking the spot of the left-hander on Tuesday was Tony Gonsolin, who allowed five runs in 4.1 innings of work.

Prior to Game 2, Kershaw did his usual dry work, played long toss and threw what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called a “pretty aggressive” bullpen session that “went well.”

Kershaw looks for continued success this postseason, having thrived in two previous starts against the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres. In those outings, Kershaw allowed three runs and 10 baserunners over 14 innings — good for a 1.93 ERA and 0.71 WHIP.

He was cruising against the Padres before allowing back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. Kershaw’s velocity dropped a bit over his final two frames, though Roberts said that was not related to the back spasms that surfaced a few days later.

In three career postseason starts against the Braves, Kershaw has allowed just one run across 21 innings. Two of those outings took place in 2013 and the other came during the 2018 NL Division Series.

Atlanta counters with the rookie Bryse Wilson, who makes his first career postseason appearance. The 22-year-old appeared in six games during the regular season (two starts), going 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA, 4.85 FIP and 1.72 WHIP over 15.2 innings.

Although Will Smith had been used as the designated hitter for games Austin Barnes caught Kershaw, the Dodgers are making a switch and going with Edwin Rios. He’s batting seventh and the end of a stretch of four consecutive left-handed batters.

Another notable change is Kiké Hernandez starting at second base in place of Chris Taylor, who is mired in a 1-for-22 skid.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Max Muncy
LF: Joc Pederson
CF: Cody Bellinger
DH: Edwin Rios
2B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Austin Barnes

Braves lineup

RF: Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B: Freddie Freeman
DH: Marcell Ozuna
C: Travis d’Arnaud
2B: Ozzie Albies
SS: Dansby Swanson
LF: Austin Riley
3B: Johan Camargo
CF: Cristian Pace

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