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Braves’ road trip continues with NLCS rematch in Los Angeles

This will be Atlanta’s matchup against former first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves will continue their road trip Monday when they begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Atlanta began the trip by splitting four games in San Diego. Sunday’s 2-1 loss dropped them back below .500 for the season at 5-6.

Matt Olson continued his hot start against the Padres going 7-for-15 at the plate with two doubles, a homer and three walks. He is hitting .421/.551/.684 with a 240 wRC+ for the season. As hot as Olson has been, the bottom of Atlanta’s order continues to struggle. Eddie Rosario is 1-for-29 for the season and has more errors in the field (3), than hits. Dansby Swanson went 2-for-13 with five strikeouts against the Padres and has a 42.9 K% through his first 11 games.

After starting the season 1-2, the Dodgers have won six straight sweeping a two-game series against the Twins before taking four straight from the Reds over the weekend. They are tied for second in the majors in runs scored and trail only the Giants in team ERA and pitcher’s WAR.

Monday, April 18, 10:10 p.m. ET (Bally Sports Southeast)

Huascar Ynoa (1 GS, 3.0 IP, 22.2 K%, 11.1 BB%, 15.00 ERA, 6.73 FIP, 3.34 xFIP)

The Braves opted to give Huascar Ynoa an extra day of rest, which pushed his turn in the rotation to the series opener in Los Angeles. Ynoa struggled with his command in his debut, where he allowed seven hits, two walks and five runs in just three innings against the Nationals.

Ynoa had a 3.02 ERA and a 3.77 FIP in his first eight appearances of the 2021 season before he suffered a broken hand punching the dugout in Milwaukee. He returned in August but had a 5.05 ERA and a 4.08 FIP over his final nine appearances, albeit with a still-great 3.64 xFIP (3.16 before the injury). Ynoa needs to show some progress at regaining his form or his rotation spot could be in jeopardy.

Clayton Kershaw (1 GS, 7.0 IP, 61.9 K%, 0.0 BB%, 0.00 ERA, -0.65 FIP, 0.57 xFIP)

Clayton Kershaw will get the start in the series opener for Los Angeles. His 2022 debut start was quite controversial, as he threw seven perfect innings while striking out 13 before giving way to the bullpen. Dave Roberts drew criticism for replacing him, but given Kershaw’s injury history and the shortened Spring Training, it was the correct call. Kershaw faced the Braves once last season, allowing eight hits and five runs in six innings, albeit with a 9/1 K/BB ratio and no homers allowed – basically a terrible-luck outing where he didn’t do much wrong. He did not appear against them in the NLCS.

Tuesday, April 19, 10:10 p.m. ET (TBS, Bally Sports Southeast)

Max Fried (2 GS, 11.0 IP, 18.4 K%, 2.0 BB%, 5.73 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 3.01 xFIP)

Max Fried will make his third start of the season in the second game of the series Tuesday. Fried was the victim of some bad luck in his debut, where he allowed eight hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Reds. He allowed two first inning runs in his next start against Washington but settled in before exiting after taking a line drive to the back of his leg, with a third run charged to him after he departed.

After that start, Fried said he had trouble locating his fastball in the first inning, but was pleased with how he pitched afterwards. Fried faced his hometown Dodgers twice during the regular season a year ago and allowed three runs and struck out 13 in 12 innings. He faced them two more times in the NLCS where he allowed 16 hits and seven runs in 10 2/3 innings.

Walker Buehler (2 GS, 10.2 IP, 19.6 K%, 10.9 BB%, 3.38 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 4.25 xFIP)

Walker Buehler will make his third start of the season Tuesday and will be looking to continue a solid start to the season. Buehler has allowed two runs in each of his first two outings. He allowed five hits and two runs over 5 2/3 innings in his most recent start against the Reds. Buehler made just one start against Atlanta last season and allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings. He faced them two more times during the postseason allowing a combined 13 hits and six earned runs in 7 2/3 innings.

Wednesday, April 20, 3:10 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

Charlie Morton (2 GS, 10.1 IP, 21.3 K%, 8.5 BB%, 6.10 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 4.80 xFIP)

Charlie Morton will make his third start of the season Wednesday afternoon in the series finale. Morton was sharp in his debut, allowing two hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Reds. He struggled in his next start, allowing nine hits, three walks and five runs in five innings against the Padres. Morton faced the Dodgers twice during the regular season in 2021, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in 11 innings. He allowed three hits and six walks but just two runs over five innings in Game 3 of the NLCS.

Tony Gonsolin (2 GS, 7.0 IP, 15.2 K%, 12.1 BB%, 1.29 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 4.77 xFIP)

Tony Gonsolin is listed as the Dodgers’ starter for Wednesday’s finale. Gonsolin has made two starts this season in a piggyback situation with left-hander Tyler Anderson. Gonsolin allowed five hits and one run over three innings in his debut against the Rockies. Anderson followed and allowed just one more run over the next four innings. Gonsolin tossed four shutout innings in his next start against the Reds and was again followed by Anderson who logged four more innings while allowing just one run.

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