MLB NLDS Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

Who will win this matchup of two division winners? Photo: Clayton Kershaw (right) and Mike Minor lead the Braves and Dodgers in the NLDS/AP

CHICAGO, October 3, 2013 — Regular Season Recap:The Braves and Dodgers played seven times this year with the Braves winning the season series 5-2. The Braves swept the series in Atlanta and will have home field in the series.

Lineup: The Braves scored 688 runs this year, good for third in the NL, and had a season slash line of .249/.321/.402 good for the third best OPS in the NL. The offense was led by Freddie Freeman .319/.396/.501, Justin Upton .263/.354/.464 and Chris Johnson .321/.358/.457. The Dodgers scored 649 runs, good for seventh in the NL, and had a season slash line of .264/.326/.396 good for the fourth best OPS in the NL. The highlights offensively have been Hanley Ramirez .345/..402/.638, Yasiel Puig .319/.391/..534 and Adrian Gonzalez .293/.342/.461.

Edge: Push 

Starting Pitching: Braves starters posted an ERA of 3.51, fifth in the NL, while striking out 813 batters with a 1.22 WHIP in 955 innings. The staff is led by Mike Minor 3.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 7.96K/9, Kris Medlen 3.11 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 7.17 K/9 and Julio Teheran 3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.24 K/9. The Dodgers starters posted an ERA of 3.13, best in the NL, while striking out 841 batters with a 1.20 WHIP in 979 innings. The staff is led by Clayton Kershaw 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 8.85 K/9, Zach Greinke 2.63 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 7.50 K/9, and Hyun-Jin Ryu 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 7.22 K/9

Edge: Dodgers

Bullpen: The Braves bullpen finished the regular season with a 2.46 ERA, best in the NL, with a 1.14 WHIP and 419 strikeouts. The best out of the bullpen have been Luis Avilan 1.52 ERA, .95 WHIP and 5.26 K/9, David Carpenter 1.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 10.14 K/9 and closer Craig Kimbrel 1.21 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 13.16 K/9. The Dodgers pen posted a 3.49 ERA, ninth in the NL, with a 1.29 WHIP and 451 strikeouts. The top men out of the bullpen have been JP Howell 2.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 7.84 K/9, Paco Rodriguez 2.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 10.44 K/9 and closer Kenley Jansen 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 13.03 K/9.

Edge Braves

Defense: The Braves finished the regular season with a .986 fielding percentage, allowed a .712 stolen base success rate, had a 37.43 range factor with a zone rating of 6.058. The Dodgers, meanwhile, had a fielding percentage of .982, allowed a .612 stolen base success rate, had a 37.69 range factor and a zone rating of 5.987.

Edge: Push

Manager: Manager Fredi Gonzalez is in his seventh year managing in MLB and his third with the Braves. Gonzalez has a .497 career winning percentage, but has done better with the Braves with a .574 winning percentage. Fredi Gonzalez led his first team to the playoffs last year, but lost to the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card game. Don Mattingly is in his third year as managing in MLB, all with the Dodgers. Mattingly’s teams have posted a .536 winning percentage in his tenure. This will be Mattingly’s first playoff appearance.

Edge: Braves

Prediction: Braves in 5


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Steve Adler

Steve Adler was born and raised in NH in a town called Westmoreland. He currently resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and daughter. He has worked in Commodities and Banking. Steve has been a sports columnist for The Washington Times Communities since July 2013.

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