One of the biggest anticipated series of the season begins Friday. The Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves in a rematch of the last two NLCS. But all eyes will be on Freddie Freeman, as the Dodger first baseman returns to Atlanta, where he spent 12 seasons.
Earlier in the season, the Dodgers took two out of three against the Braves at Dodger Stadium. But a lot since then has changed; the Braves are probably the hottest team in the Majors. They had a 14-game winning streak and are now 41-30. They also just took three out of four from the Giants.
It can very well be an NLCS preview, and with the teams meeting in the playoffs three out of the last four seasons, it always makes for some fun baseball.
The Dodger offense in a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds woke up, and fans hoped it was a sign of things to come. With Mookie Betts on the injured list, Freeman and Trea Turner have stepped up. Not to say Turner and Freeman have arguably been the most consistent hitters this season. Turner leads the team in batting average with .312, and the Dodgers should do all their power to re-sign him. Freeman follows suit with a .303 average.
Pitching matchups for the weekend have been set. The Dodgers are starting left-handers Julio Urias and Andrew Heaney and right-hander Tony Gonsolin in the finale. The Braves counter with Ian Anderson, Max Fried, and Spencer Strider.
Another series win will boost morale on the road trip. Six games remain on the road trip, so a series win against Atlanta guarantees a winning record for the entire trip. Upon returning home, the Dodgers host the Padres. Right now, only one game separates the two in the standings.
Obviously, a series win won’t be easy, as it is the home of the defending champs. Plus, they’re one of the hottest teams in the majors.
Urias gets the ball for the first game. Despite his 4-6 record, he’s posted a 2.56 ERA and has been outstanding in his starts. In his last start against the Guardians, Urias went six innings, only allowing two hits. Let’s hope the offense can keep the momentum from Cincinnati.
Suppose the Dodgers can take two out of three from Atlanta and do the same against Colorado — that leaves them with a 7-2 record on the road trip. After the series loss to the Guardians, that is definitely a momentum booster as the team approaches the All-Star break.
The first pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled at 4:20 p.m. Pacific.