Braves continue daunting western road trip against a familiar foe in Los Angeles

After a tough couple of games in Seattle resulting in a series loss, the Atlanta Braves will face a familiar and longstanding foe in the City of Angels.
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves are in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of baseball they will face in 2024. They battled it out with the Guardians in Atlanta before facing a tough Seattle Mariners pitching staff where they dropped the series despite keeping things close. Now, they face one of the toughest teams in the National League to close out the road trip.

In the past, the Los Angeles Dodgers usually beat the Braves in the regular season; excluding 2016 and 2021 when Atlanta won all of the regular season matchups. The Dodgers have also proven to be quite the postseason giant. However, as proven after Atlanta's 2021 World Series run, giants can be slayed. That is if the offense can get their respective acts together. Before the inevitable internet meltdowns commence, let’s preview the upcoming star-studded series.

How well are the Dodgers performing right now?

On paper, LA is doing as expected; they sit in first in the NL West at 20-13, and the top of the lineup is doing incredible things (especially Mookie Betts, who probably would’ve won MVP last season if not for Ronald Acuña, Jr.), and so on. However, when looking at the results of previous games, there are some questions regarding consistency.

The same team that loses a series to the Nationals one week and wins against the same team the next is not out of the norm, but it is interesting nonetheless. If anything, the Dodgers needed to get back in their groove. It is also important to note that, like the Braves, the Dodgers have their fair share of injuries, including pitchers Walker Buehler and Dustin May. The average ERA for both teams is also around the same, hovering at around 3.50.

How the Atlanta Braves should respond after a tough series loss

Perhaps what the Braves need right now is the spirit of Hank Aaron flowing through their veins or better yet, their bats. However, even considering the games in Seattle, the Braves are still doing relatively well. To put things in perspective, the Braves kept the score close with one of the best rotations in baseball.

Atlanta ranks second behind the Dodgers in most offensive metrics (i.e., batting average, OPS), and the bottom of the lineup, especially Jarred Kelenic and Travis D’Arnaud, are doing more than their fair share. Some players who need to have a good game are Matt Olson and Austin Riley, who both have had a tough go at the plate. The Braves need the reigning 2023 Silver Slugger Team to return to form, especially if they are to support the rotation against the LA lineup. 

This also includes Ronald Acuña Jr. who has struggled to get things going. However, fans will remember what happened the last time Acuña visited Dodger Stadium. He put up one of the best weekends in baseball.

This won't be an easy series, especially after the way the last couple of games in Seattle went. However, on paper, both teams are similarly matched. Both teams, for the most part, hit the ball like it's second nature to them. If Atlanta takes two out of three games from the Dodgers, perhaps we can all take a collective sigh of relief and look forward to what lies ahead in May.

Probable Starters for Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 1: Charlie Morton vs. Gavin Stone, 10:10 p.m. EST
Morton’s previous start vs. Cleveland: 7.0IP | 4H | 0ER | 6K; 3.60 ERA
Stone’s previous start vs. Toronto: 7.0IP | 2H | 1ER | 2K; 4.68 ERA

Game 2: Bryce Elder vs. Tyler Glasnow, 9:10 p.m. EST
Elder’s previous start vs. Cleveland: 5.1IP | 4H | 2ER | 2K; 1.50 ERA
Glasnow’s previous start vs. Toronto: 6.0IP | 2H | 1R | 9K; 2.72 ERA

Game 3: Max Fried vs. James Paxton, 4:10 p.m. EST
Fried’s previous start vs. Seattle: 6.0IP | 0H | 0R | 7K; 4.02 ERA
Paxton’s previous start vs. Arizona: 5.0IP | 6H | 4R | 4K; 3.51 ERA

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