Dodgers showing early in 2024 that they could finally get over horrific postseason hump

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

Dodgers-Braves is a matchup that has raised and will continue to raise the hackles of fans on both sides for a long time to come. They're the juggernauts of the National League, perennial postseason contenders, with stars across the board, highly-touted lineup depth, and pitchers whose names will be thrown around a lot when we get to awards voting later this year.

Since 2013, LA and Atlanta have matched up four times during the postseason — during the NLDS in 2013 and 2018, and the NLCS in 2020 and 2021 — with three victories for the Dodgers, including one that would lead them to a World Series title in 2020.

And, of course, the Braves got one in 2021, which led them to their own World Series victory.

On May 3, they faced off at Dodger Stadium for the first time in 2024, to kick off the first of two scheduled series across the regular season. Despite the fact that the Dodgers had picked up steam after a back-and-forth start to the year, the Braves have a lineup that would gave anyone pause.

As things turned out, the Dodgers didn't have much to worry about. They swept the Braves and, especially during Games 2 and 3, made it look easy.

Can the Dodgers translate their early-season sweep of the Braves into postseason success in October?

Game 1 was truly competitive, a back and forth match that went into extras and featured a career-first walk-off hit for Andy Pages. The next two games weren't nearly as close, with the Dodgers blowing the Braves out of the water in Game 2 with a three-homer night for Max Muncy on top of home runs for Pages and Shohei Ohtani. Game 3 had more home runs (two for Ohtani) and a nice day at the office for James Paxton, who went nearly seven innings and only gave up one run, a homer to Marcell Ozuna.

It was just one series, and the Dodgers have been hot lately, but the quality of those wins should make fans excited about what this could mean for LA when they see the Braves again in September and, chances are, in October. The Dodgers were getting on base and the guys that followed were actually driving them in, and even the bullpen and back of the rotation shaped up to put things decisively in the Dodgers' favor. More of that come September, and the Dodgers could get a repeat of the 2020 postseason instead of 2021.