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Game Preview: Dodgers Attempt Four-Game Sweep in Atlanta



Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves

Time: 10:35 AM PT

Venue: SunTrust Park

Los Angeles Record: 59-46

Atlanta Record: 54-47

How are the Dodgers Doing?

The Dodgers have a chance to accomplish a feat that they have not been able to fulfill in nearly five years: Complete a four-game sweep on the road. Their last such sweep came in August 2013 against the Chicago Cubs. The only position player to play in both that series in 2013 and this series in Atlanta is Yasiel Puig. Puig returned from the disabled list on Saturday, and made his presence felt, hitting a home run and driving in three runs in their 5-1 victory against the Braves.

Why is this Game Important?

Despite their recent success to open the second half, the Dodgers have not yet run away with the division. The Diamondbacks trail by only 1.5 games in the NL West and have a relatively easy schedule, playing the Padres, Rangers and Giants over the next week. They also added Eduardo Escobar and remain a legitimate threat to the Dodgers in the division.

Pitching Matchup

Ross Stripling (8-2, 2.43 ERA) vs Sean Newcomb (9-5, 3.41 ERA)

Ross Stripling and Sean Newcomb matched up against each other at Dodger Stadium earlier this year, with Stripling winning the battle back on June 10. The Dodgers have won all four games that Stripling has started in July. He struggled late in his last start, failing to go five innings for the first time since early May.

Newcomb is hoping to continue the success from his last start. He went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits in his win in Miami. July has not been Newcomb’s best month this year. Even with his victory in his last start, Newcomb is 1-3 with an ERA of 7.00 in four games this month.

Matchup of the Day

Chris Taylor vs Sean Newcomb

Chris Taylor reached base three times on Saturday and already has five hits this series. Taylor currently ties with Manny Machado and Joc Pederson, for the team lead in hits since the All Star break. Facing Sean Newcomb in his career, Taylor is 4-8 with a home run.

The one concern for Taylor all year has been his inability to make contact. While he has been a hit machine of late, he ranks second in the National League with 122 strikeouts.

Vegas Odds

Odds Sharks

Dodgers: -135

Braves: +125

FiveThirtyEight

Dodgers: 55% chance of winning

Braves: 45% chance of winning

Fun Fact

Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Braves’ Ozzie Albies are two of only five active Major Leaguers from Curaçao.

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Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

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