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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers go for second straight win vs. Braves

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Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers go for a second straight win over the Braves on Tuesday night, and will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound, trying to end the incessant "What's wrong with Kershaw?" talk.

We could talk about peripheral numbers, defense-independent pitching metrics, and bad luck all day long, but for now just take this with whatever grain of salt your diet allows.

Through 44 Dodgers team games in 2014, Kershaw was 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA, with a 29.8-percent strikeout rate.

Through 44 Dodgers team games in 2015, Kershaw is 2-3 with a 4.32 ERA, with a 30.0-percent strikeout rate.

Kershaw finished last year 19-2 over his final 23 starts with a 1.43 ERA, plus 211 strikeouts and 28 walks in 176 innings.

To expect that again would be just as foolish as thinking Kershaw would end his 2015 season with an ERA beginning with a four. But there are reasons to expect improvement in Kershaw's numbers going forward.

If there is one difference between Kershaw this year and last year, it's that he has allowed six home runs to date this season after allowing nine in all of 2014. Then again, the Braves are tied for last in the majors with 26 home runs entering play on Tuesday night.

Maybe the Braves should have completed that trade for Juan Uribe, who is 3-for-11 (.273) with a home run against Kershaw.

Julio Teheran starts for the Braves. His only career start at Dodger Stadium was a very good one, striking out nine while allowing two runs in eight innings. But Teheran was the hard-luck loser for Atlanta that night, beaten by Kershaw, who also struck out nine but went the distance in a 2-1 Dodgers win.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA