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Dodgers-Braves NLDS Game 1 Preview: Kershaw Must Set the Tone



Remember back in 2010 when Roy Halladay made his first playoff start for the Phillies and threw a no-hitter?  Not saying that Kershaw is going to no-hit the Braves, but I think it’s going to be one of those special playoff starts that gets replayed on ESPN Classic.

What will the Braves do to prepare for Kershaw?  I don’t think there’s anything they can do.  The Braves three best hitters, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman, are all left-handed. Lefties hit only .165 off Kershaw this year, while Justin Upton and Evan Gattis are the Braves’ most threatening right handed bats. However, both are feast-or-famine hitters and when Kershaw’s on the hill, there’s not much to bite at.

The Braves will send Southern California native Kris Medlen to the hill to try and stop the Dodgers offense. Medlen was dominant at Turner Field going 9-6 with a 2.26 ERA in front of the home crowd. Medlen doesn’t overpower hitters, but he hits he spots consistently and can mix his pitches with the best of them.  Medlen throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball, curve, slider and his strikeout pitch is his changeup. Medlen is kind of a poor man’s Zack Greinke and has thrown 13.2 innings against the Dodgers this year, allowing only one unearned run.

Here are both teams’ lineups for Game 1 tonight:

DODGERS:

1: Crawford, LF

2: Ellis, 2B

3:Ramirez, SS

4-Gonzalez, 1B

5-Puig, RF

6-Uribe, 3B

7-Schumaker, CF

8-Ellis, C

9-Kershaw, SP

BRAVES

1-Heyward, CF

2-Upton, RF

3-Freeman, 1B

4-Gattis, LF

5-McCann, C

6-C. Johnson, 3B

7-Simmons, SS

8-E. Johnson, 2B

9-Medlen, SP

Game 1 will be broadcasted on TBS at 5:30 pm PST.  If you want to go old school and flip on the radio (570 AM), Vin Scully will call innings 1-3, Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will call innings 4-6, with Vin taking back over for innings 7-9.

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In case you missed it, find out more about Andre Ethier’s ankle injury.

Written by Staff Writer

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