Braves Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: National League Showdown Begins

After sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers get their toughest challenge to finish August in a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.

They enter the matchup at Dodger Stadium with the top two records in baseball. The Dodgers trail the Braves by four games, and there’s added intrigue with Mookie Betts and Ronald Acuña Jr. being among the National League MVP favorites.

While there is plenty of anticipation, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts downplayed the matchup outside of it being informational.

“Obviously four games separates us as far as the one (seed) versus two in the National League, so that has value certainly,” Roberts said. “And the other part, I think most importantly, is just gathering information. I think we know each other pretty well, but we haven’t seen them in a while.

“We’re going to get to see their guys, so it will be a good test for all of us.”

Lance Lynn gets first crack at the Braves, and he comes in with a 10-9 record, 5.56 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. He’s 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA and 1.06 WHIP since being traded to the Dodgers.

The fresh start has paid dividends for Lynn and the Dodgers alike. However, Lynn’s most recent start against the Boston Red Sox was his most difficult, as he gave up four runs (three earned) and 10 hits over six innings.

Lynn’s trouble with allowing the most home runs in baseball figures to be tested by a Braves team that leads all offenses in that category and one that’s already set a franchise record.

The Braves counter with Spencer Strider, who is tied for the Major League lead with 15 wins this season. That’s come against four losses and been accompanied by a 3.46 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

Strider also leads the league with 236 strikeouts in only 153 innings. Strider throws a fastball, slider and changeup. He throws the fastball 58.8% of the time, his slider 34% and changeup only 7.2%. Strider gets most of his swing and miss from the slider, which boasts a 57.3% whiff rate.

Prior to the game the Dodgers activated Shelby Miller off the 60-day injured list and optioned Ryan Pepiot to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Miller returns after missing 10 weeks because of neck pain caused by a herniated disc, and Pepiot is back in the Minors one night after pitching five scoreless innings in his first start of the season.

Dodgers lineup

2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: James Outman
DH: Michael Busch
SS: Amed Rosario

Braves lineup

RF: Ronald Acuña Jr.
CF: Michael Harris II
3B: Austin Riley
1B: Matt Olson
DH: Marcell Ozuna
LF: Eddie Rosario
C: Sean Murphy
SS: Orlando Arcia
2B: Nicky Lopez

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