Dodgers Braves Game One Preview
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers return home for a homestand that should be successful.
I said this in a response to a comment yesterday, but it’s worth repeating. The Dodgers had a roadtrip that took them to both of last years’ NLCS participants, the Mets and the Cubs. The Dodgers went 3-4 on the roadtrip, and three of those four losses were by one or two runs. The Dodgers had their toughest roadtrip of the season and only lost one game to the Giants in the standings, as they went 4-3 on a roadtrip against the Rockies and Braves. I was honestly prepared for the Dodgers to come back to LA down seven or eight games, so 5.5 seems pretty fine.
The offense was flat for most of the trip, but the pitching was mostly great. Alex Wood went down with an injury and Hyun-jin Ryu suffered a setback, so the Dodgers are pretty much at their threshold of pitching injuries they can sustain.
Kenta Maeda gets the ball today after being pushed back a day. He was hit by a comebacker in the first inning of his start in New York, but shoved through five shutout innings. Maeda had been struggling before that start, as he allowed four earned runs in his three previous starts, but has solid numbers on the season overall. He missed the Braves when the Dodgers went to Atlanta, but he should be helped by an extra day’s rest.
Julio Teheran gets the start for Atlanta, and he seems to be this years’ Shelby Miller. Miller had a fine 3.02 ERA last season, but went 6-17, because Braves. Teheran has an even better 2.77 ERA, but is 1-5 in 11 starts, as the Braves average 2.12 runs of support when he starts and haven’t scored more than four in any of his starts. He faced the Dodgers in Atlanta back in April and left the game winning 3-1, but took a no decision as the bullpen allowed his inherited runner to score on a two-run home run, and eventually lost the game in 10 innings.
Clearly, the Dodgers don’t read this blog, as Justin Turner remains in the three-hole. His struggles are real and he’s definitely not looking like the reliable middle-of-the-order bat he had been for the last two years. Emily wrote at length about Turner’s struggles and possible fixes here. He would still get gold glove consideration in a national league where Nolan Arenado didn’t exist, but that doesn’t warrant him hitting this high in the order (at least until his bat comes around, which I still have faith that it will).
Yasiel Puig remains out of the lineup with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t started since Monday, but has pinch hit twice since then. Scott Van Slyke is at Dodger Stadium but won’t be activated today, according to Bill Shaikin. When he is activated, the Dodgers will have some decisions to make in the outfield.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.