The Los Angeles Dodgers (81-42) and the Atlanta Braves (72-51) are the top two teams in the National League. It’s only fair of me to mention the Dodgers have a 9-game lead over the Braves in the league standings.
Each team has a MVP contenting player. Cody Bellinger is the guy for the Dodgers. He currently leads the MLB with 40 home runs and comes in at second in OPS (1.080). Ronald Acuña Jr., who recently started to heat up, could potentially have a 40-40 season. He also leads the NL in runs scored (103) and stolen bases (28).
Plus, he can do this.
If the season ended today, the Dodgers would be the top seed in the NL and the Braves would finish as No. 2, meaning they could end up facing off in the NL Championship Series. Of course, this is a hypothetical — the season does not end today, and anything could happen between now and Sept. 30.
Since the beginning of this decade, the Dodgers have a .609 winning percentage over the Braves in 64 games. This will be the last regular season matchup between the two teams this year. The last time these two faced off, LA swept in three games, outscoring the Braves 24-7.
Game one: Kenta Maeda (8-8, 4.12 ERA) vs. Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.32 ERA)
Friday, Aug. 16 - 4:20 p.m. PT // TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network (out-of-market)
Kenta Maeda gets the start on the bump to open up the series. He is coming off his best start of the season. The right hander pitched seven scoreless innings and held the Diamondbacks to three hits while dealing six strikeouts and no walks. It was just the third time he made it at least seven innings out of 23 starts this year.
Maeda doesn’t have much experience against the Braves, with two wins against them in as many games started. He has an impressive 0.68 ERA in 13 1⁄3 innings, which should be taken with a grain of salt since it is a small sample size.
Mike Soroka will represent the Braves in game one. The rookie boasts the second-best ERA in the majors after 21 games pitched. He too is coming off of a solid start. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Marlins where he only allowed three hits and one walk. The young stud has gone seven frames in each of his last three starts.
Soroka hasn’t earned a win in over a month due to short innings, bullpen blown leads and lack of run support.
Game two: Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-2, 1.45 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (4-5, 6.24 ERA)
Saturday, Aug. 17 - 4:20 p.m. PT // TV: SportsNet LA
Hyun-Jin Ryu will head to the mound on Saturday evening. He still has the lowest ERA and has the second-best WHIP (0.93) in all of baseball. There are great memories from the last time Ryu faced the Braves. It was one of his greatest performances of the year, if not the greatest. He pitched a complete-game shutout against the Braves, limiting them to four hits without a walk.
Ryu has not given up a run in his last 13 innings pitched and has not earned a loss since his tough outing in Colorado on June 28.
Opposite of Ryu will be Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz pitched six innings at Dodger Stadium earlier this year and allowed five earned runs from five hits and four walks, including two home runs. Kiké Hernández and Max Muncy each hit a home run off him the last time they met.
The right hander spent 1 1⁄2 months in Triple-A to work on his command. Since his return on Aug. 6, he has pitched 11 1⁄3 innings and allowed 13 hits, four walks and seven earned runs.
Game three: Dustin May (1-1, 2.65 ERA) vs. Max Fried (14-4, 3.78 ERA)
Sunday, Aug. 18 - 10:20 a.m. PT // TV: SportsNet LA, TBS
Dustin May is the next pitcher in the starting rotation, but Dave Roberts has not confirmed who will actually be starting on Sunday. For the sake of this series preview, we’ll take a look at May.
May is coming off of his first MLB win against the Marlins. He pitched 5 2⁄3 innings and held Miami to three hits, one walk and one earned run. The rookie hasn’t made it past the sixth inning in his three starts this year, but is improving every time he takes the mound. He shows great command of his pitches and has an impressive 1.12 WHIP after 17 innings in the majors.
A potential starter for Sunday could be Tony Gonsolin, who pitched five innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Aug. 12. Another possibility could be Julio Urías, who threw two innings on Aug. 9.
No matter who is on the mound for the Dodgers, he will be facing Max Fried. Fried’s last outing against LA is one he’d rather forget. He didn’t make it past the first inning after allowing four earned runs to score from four hits, including a home run, and a walk.
The Santa Monica native has a 2.60 ERA in his three August starts, which equates to the same amount of innings as May has in his career. He has also earned a win in each of his last five starts.
How many games will the Dodgers win against the Braves?
This poll is closed