Dodgers 2019 potential playoff opponent breakdown: Atlanta Braves
Pitchers vs. Hitters
I was interested in seeing how the core of the order for both teams has done this and last season against the opposing starters and top relievers, so I did a little research.
Here’s what I found.
Acuña Jr. has faced five Dodger pitchers this season, recording a hit only against Kershaw. It was a home run. But in a slightly larger sample size, Acuña Jr. is, combining his 2018 and 2019 numbers, 1-7 against Kershaw with two strikeouts. In a 43 AB sample against the Dodgers over the same two-season span, Freeman is hitting .348 with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs.
But against the Dodgers’ likely starters and Jansen? Freeman is a combined 3-16, with all three of his hits coming in 2019 (a homer off Buehler and two hits off Kershaw).
On the other side of the ball for the Braves, Folty and Fried are the only two potential playoff starters with games against the Dodgers in 2019, and neither fared especially well.
Soroka and Teheran have only faced one man who could make an appearance for the Dodgers in the 2019 playoffs: Jedd Gyorko. And new trade deadline bullpen arms Shane Greene and Chris Martin have not faced the Dodgers either. The two clubs do matchup this weekend though.
The only reliever with any experience against the Dodgers actually happens to be one of the most experienced back-end bullpen arms in the game: Mark Melancon. Recently named the Braves’ closer over Greene, Melancon has held Dodger hitters to a triple-slash line of .200/.238/.250 in 20 AB’s against him. In those 20 AB’s, he allowed one walk, one double and just 2 runs to score.
Amongst potential Dodger starters, only Seager has a hit off of Melancon, the lone double he has allowed to them this year. However, this same Dodger team, or a similar one at least, has faced Melancon in every season since 2016, and veterans like Justin Turner and the de-facto veteran Corey Seager could likely help neutralize his arsenal against the rookies.