Dodgers Set to Open NLCS Against Atlanta Braves

(Los Angeles Times photo)

The Los Angeles Dodgers continue their quest to win the 2020 World Series today by starting a best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Braves in Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Having disposed of both the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres pretty easily, sweeping both series, they now face a very tough test in the Braves.

This Atlanta team is comprised of one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, a very good starting rotation, and one of the top offenses. Dodger pitching will be tested, as the Braves were second in barrels and hard-hit rate, and tied for first with the Dodgers for line drive and fly ball rate over the regular season.

The Atlanta bullpen has only allowed five hits and no runs so far this postseason. However, the Dodgers lineup is a little bit more formidable than those of the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins.

Braves manager Brian Snitker will send his best three starters to the mound to try to tame the Dodgers’ mighty bats. Game 1 will be Max Fried; Game 2 Ian Anderson; and Game 3, Kyle Wright. The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler in Game 1, and Clayton Kershaw in Game 2. Game 3 is yet to be determined, just like the last two series.

If you’ve read either or both of Dennis’s columns over the weekend, he laid out very well both teams’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as how players fare in head-to-head comparisons. The consensus is that the Dodgers are better in six of the nine positions, with the Dodgers having the better starting rotation and the Braves having the better bullpen.

The Dodgers also have the advantage of having played five games straight at Globe Life Field. Remember, the Dodgers have hit only one home run in those five games, and the Braves are a homer happy team. The Padres, who also hit a lot of home runs, hit only two in their three games there. The Dodgers could use that to their advantage to jump to a series lead, before the Atlanta bats figure out how to hit at GLF.

Monday the Dodgers released their NLCS roster. There were two changes from the NLDS; Terrance Gore and Gavin Lux were removed from the roster in favor of Edwin Rios and Alex Wood. Rios was left off the NLDS roster while he rehabbed a groin injury. Manager Dave Roberts said that Rios’ appearances would be limited to pinch hitting situations, at least in the first few games. For his part, Wood figures to be an inning eater in the case of a blow out.

The Dodgers just need to continue what they’ve been doing for the past five games—taking patient at bats, having solid defense and making the right moves in the bullpen, and they will once again find themselves back at the World Series.

Announced game times –

Monday 5:05 PT

Tuesday 3:05 PT

Wednesday 3:08 PT

 

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