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NLDS Preview: Game Two Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers
Oct 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) celebrates with teammates after the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves in game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

Time: 6:37 PM PT

Venue: Dodger Stadium

Dodgers Lead Series 1-0

How are the Dodgers Doing?

Joc Pederson opened the offense for the Dodgers with none other than a leadoff home run. Two weeks ago, he set a franchise record with his eighth leadoff home run of the year. The Dodgers relied heavily on the longball to charge their offense, with a three-run home run by Max Muncy and a solo shot by Kike Hernandez. They added a run in the eighth inning to cap off their 6-0 victory.

Hyun-Jin Ryu proved more than ready for Game 1, with eight strikeouts over seven shutout innings. Ryu has now allowed just one run over his last 20 playoff innings.

Why is this Game Important?

To add to their one-game advantage, the Dodgers will throw their ace, Clayton Kershaw on the mound. With that said, the Dodgers are not necessarily running away as the indubitable favorites for Game 2. The Braves went 47-34 on the road during the regular season and Kershaw has had his fair share of issues in October. He won his only NLDS start in 2017 against the Diamondbacks but allowed four home runs in that outing.

Pitching Matchup

Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA) vs Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 2.83 ERA)

Clayton Kershaw will appear in his 25th career playoff game, hoping to put the Dodgers one game away from the NLCS. In the regular season, Kershaw finished the year single-digit win total for the first time since 2009. He also threw just 161 innings, his lowest total since his rookie year. When he was on the mound, Kershaw gave the Dodgers results, with the team winning his final eight starts of the year.

Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 journey began with a contract he signed in February with the Minnesota Twins. They released him less than a month later before he signed a minor league deal with the Braves. He began the year dealing with a hamstring injury before finding his groove in the Atlanta rotation. Sanchez never allowed more than four runs in a start and allowed over three runs on just four occasions. One such occasion came against Los Angeles in a loss to the Dodgers in June.

Matchup of the Day

Max Muncy vs Anibal Sanchez

Max Muncy continued his magical season with a monster game to open the postseason. He reached base all four times, drawing three walks and hitting a home run. His playoff debut made historic company, joining the likes of Eddie Murray, Barry Bonds, and Manny Ramirez.

Vegas Odds

FiveThirtyEight

Los Angeles: 67% chance of winning

Atlanta: 33% chance of winning

Fun Fact

Anibal Sanchez’s has 38.2 postseason innings, compared to 20.1 innings of playoff experience by the rest of the Atlanta rotation.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-recap-huge-win-in-game-one-of-nlds-vs-atlanta-ce1110/2018/10/04/”]Dodgers Recap: Huge Win In Game One of NLDS Vs. Atlanta[/button]

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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