The Los Angeles Dodgers welcome in the Atlanta Braves tonight for a pivotal Game 3 of the National League Division Series. The game is scheduled for an 8:07 (EST) start time and it will be broadcast nationally on TBS. The Dodgers are favored in this one to take a 2-1 series lead.
Los Angeles pretty much did their jobs while in Atlanta, stealing home field away from the Braves with a Game 1 win. They played well in Game 2 as well, but the Braves had their backs against the wall in that one. Had Atlanta lost that game to the Dodgers, this series probably would have ended tonight. But alas, we have a pivotal Game 3 where the winner will certainly have an advantage the rest of the series, even if it happens to end up being a short one.
Atlanta is going to count on Julio Teheran on the mound. The youngster won 14 games this season and was pretty solid on the road. Not great, but pretty solid. He hasn't pitched against the Dodgers in his young 2-year career. Teheran has thrown in big games this season and if he has a great effort today, the Braves could be in a good spot. He'll have to keep his walks down and not allow Dodgers free bases.
Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the ball for Los Angeles. He won 14 games this season and won seven starts at home and away this season. He also lost four games both at home and away this season. Consistent. But where the numbers aren't similar in his splits are the ERA. He sported a 3.69 average in road starts this season compared to 2.32 in spacious Dodger Stadium. Clearly pitching at home will be an advantage for Ryu. He faced the Braves twice this season but didn't earn a decision in either game. He had 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings of work against Atlanta and allowed three earned runs in that time. But he did walk six guys, which is something he's going to have to avoid in this contest.
Freddie Freeman has had some success against Ryu with three hits in four at bats, including a double.
Bullpens will be important. One or both of these teams will have to go to a pinch hitter at some point to hit for their starter. Then the bullpens will take over and we believe the Braves have the better one of the two. But with Ryu starting and the Dodgers playing at home, they are the play here today.
Free Pick: Dodgers 4, Braves 2
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