Series preview: Braves vs. Dodgers
When (TV): 8:37 p.m. Thursday (TBS), 6:07 p.m. Friday (TBS), TBA Sunday (TBS). If necessary: TBA Monday, TBA Wednesday.
Radio: 680, 93.7, 100.5
Probable starting pitchers:
Thursday: Braves RH Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11 ERA) vs. LH Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83)
Friday: Braves LH Mike Minor (13-9, 3.21) vs. RH Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63)
Sunday: Braves RH Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20) vs. LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00)
Monday (if necessary): Braves RH Freddy Garcia (1-2, 1.65 ERA) vs. RH Ricky Nolasco (13-11, 3.70)
About the Braves:
Batting: Freddie Freeman was 37-for-99 (.374) with seven home runs, 24 RBIs, a .444 OBP and .636 slugging percentage in his last 28 regular-season games and finished the season tied for third in the National League in average (.319) and tied for second in RBIs (109). Chris Johnson was 2-for-23 with one homer and 10 strikeouts in his past six games, but finished second in the NL with a .321 average and majors-best .383 against lefties. Justin Upton went 20-for-61 (.328) with three homers in his last 15 games.
Pitching: Medlen is 9-1 with a 2.04 ERA in his past 11 starts, including 5-0 with an 0.84 ERA in his past six. The Los Angeles-area native is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in eight games (three starts) against the Dodgers, including 1-0 with no earned runs and a .156 opponents’ average in two starts this season. Minor is 1-1 with a 2.32 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers. Teheran hasn’t faced the Dodgers.
Miscellaneous: Chris Johnson is 18-for-48 (.375) with 12 extra-base hits, 10 RBIs and a .729 slugging percentage in 14 games at Dodger Stadium. Jason Heyward’s .165 average and a .206 slugging percentage in 27 games vs. the Dodgers are his lowest against an NL team, but he went 6-for-15 with a double and three walks in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium in June. Against Kershaw, Freeman is 1-for-2 with a homer, Upton 3-for-29, Johnson 1-for-12 and Heyward 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
About the Dodgers:
Batting: Hanley Ramirez was 20-for-54 (.370) with five homers, 11 RBIs and a .462 OBP and .704 slugging percentage in 16 September games. Juan Uribe hit .308 with 12 extra-base hits (five homers) in 22 September games. Yasiel Puig hit .397 with eight homers and a .630 slugging percentage in his first 36 games after being called up June 3, including 8-for-16 with two homers in a four-game series against the Braves. He was 15-for-77 (.195) with five homers in his final 24 games.
Pitching: Kershaw led NL starters in ERA (1.83), strikeouts (232 in 236 innings) and WHIP (0.915). He’s 10-4 with a 1.57 ERA in past 16 starts, with 114 strikeouts and 19 walks in 114 2/3 innings. He has no decisions and a 2.45 ERA in four starts vs. the Braves, none this season. Greinke is 7-1 with a 1.58 ERA in his past 12 starts, with 73 strikeouts and 15 walks in 79 2/3 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA in three starts against the Braves. Ryu had no decisions and a 2.13 ERA in two starts vs. the Braves this season.
Miscellaneous: The Dodgers were 9-15 with a .241 average and 3.53 ERA in their last 24 regular-season games. Against Medlen, Ramirez is 5-for-9 with a homer, Skip Schumaker is 4-for-9, Andre Ethier is 4-for-12, Uribe is 0-for-6, and Adrian Gonzalez is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. The Braves faced the Dodgers once in the postseason, with the Braves sweeping a 1996 division series behind wins from John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.