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Series Preview: Dodgers Seek Their First Winning Record vs. Braves

Joc Pederson
Jun 7, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson (31) circles the bases on a two run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Dodgers won 8-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After winning their series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Dodgers head back home to face the Atlanta Braves for a three game set. The Braves are currently tied with the Washington Nationals for first place in the NL East.

Pitching Probables

Friday, June 8, 7:10 PM PT

Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.83 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (3-1, 2.74 ERA)

The Dodgers will see a familiar face as Brandon McCarthy makes his first start in Los Angeles since the Dodgers dealt him. He earned the no decision in his last start against the Nationals and has struggled over his past few starts. He has an ERA of 6.61 since the beginning of May.

Walker Buehler will look to rebound from his last start where he allowed five runs in Colorado. In each of his eight starts this season, Buehler has thrown at least five innings.

 

Saturday, June 9, 6:10 PM PT

Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.16 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (1-4, 4.48 ERA)

Thirteen-year veteran Anibal Sanchez takes the hill in the second game of the series. He is making just his sixth appearance of the year but in his last start, he allowed just two run in seven innings.

Alex Wood will face his old club as he attempts to bounce back from his poor outing his last time on the mound. He lasted only two innings in Colorado as he allowed six runs.

 

Sunday, June 10, 1:10 PM PT

TBA vs Ross Stripling (4-1, 1.52 ERA)

With pitcher Julio Teheran placed on the 10-day disabled list, the Braves have not announced their starter for the last game of the series. In triple-a, they have options with Matt Wisler, Max Fried and Lucas Sims, all of whom with Major League experience. They can also use Sunday as a bullpen day.

Ross Stripling will look to continue his excellent season against Atlanta. Since the start of May, Stripling has struck out 48 batters in 35 innings and has an ERA of 1.03 during that span.

 

Braves Player to Watch: Freddie Freeman

For several years now, Freddie Freeman has been the consistent force in the Braves lineup. He is continuing his success again this year with his team leading .338 batting average and 43 RBI. His 80 hits trail only Nick Markakis on the team while his 11 home runs are second to Ozzie Albies.

Dodgers Player to Watch: Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson

With the way that both Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson have caught steam, they are both threats in the Dodgers lineup. Bellinger homered in each of the last three games in the series in Pittsburgh and closed the series with a three hit game. Pederson has hit five home runs in as many games and has raised his batting average nearly 30 points during that stretch. With righties set to start at least the first two games of the series, Bellinger and Pederson should continue their success

Analysis

With the high reliance of the bullpen over the past week, the Dodgers will depend heavily on the rotation lasting deep into games this series. The bullpen has thrown less than four innings only once in the past 10 games. The Dodgers have won seven games during that stretch and if they win this series, they will have a winning record for the first time this season. The Dodgers also only trail the first place Arizona Diamondbacks by 1.5 games coming into the series.

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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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