LOS ANGELES -- The last time the Dodgers were home, they swept a three-game series against one of the worst teams in baseball. Starting Friday night, they have a chance to do the same with this weekend series against the Braves at Dodger Stadium.
Atlanta is 16-37, owners of the worst record in the National League, though on the road they have been relatively much better, at 10-14. The Braves are 7-8 overall in their last 15 games, looking more mediocre than terrible as they have been most of the season.
The Dodgers took two of three games in Atlanta in April, and this weekend will face the Braves' three best starting pitchers, so the offense will be tested.
And that's really what this is about, the Dodgers offense, which has been maddeningly inconsistent for most of the season. The Dodgers rank ninth in the National League in runs per game (4.22), and rank 11th in wRC+ (87).
Dodgers pitchers rank fourth in the NL in ERA+ (112), fourth in FIP- (86), and fourth in runs allowed per game (3.67). The pitching gets talked about the most as a Dodger problem, especially relievers (the LA pen ranks fourth in the NL with a 3.31 ERA, third with a 3.54 FIP), but relatively speaking the pitching is the least of the club's problems.
Don't get me wrong, with Alex Wood out more than a month and no rehabbing veterans anywhere close to a return, there is an immediate need for starting pitching that might trump everything, especially if the club decides to replace Julio Urias after two starts filled with growing pains.
But that spot in the rotation doesn't come up until Tuesday, and against the Braves this weekend at least, the Dodgers will sent three pitchers to the mound that can reasonably be expected to give the team a chance to win.
If the offense shows up, that is, which hasn't been the case too often at home in 2016. The Dodgers are averaging just 3.44 runs per game this season at Dodger Stadium, where the club is hitting just .222/.294/.359.
Then again the Braves are hitting .226/.294/.314 on the season, averaging just 3.13 runs per game.
Maybe this weekend the Dodgers can move upward in the standings. The Dodgers have either stayed put or lost ground in the National League West for 23 straight days. The last day the team gained in the standings was May 10.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA