At this rate, there won’t be a league champion this year.
메이저사이트The Los Angeles Dodgers, in the hunt for the National League pennant, were brought to their knees by the Atlanta Braves for the second straight day.
The Dodgers were swept 3-6 at Dodger Stadium on April 2. After dropping the first two games of this three-game series, the Dodgers are now 83-50. The Dodgers, in first place in the National League (NL) West, extended their lead over Atlanta in the East to six games.
It’s no longer possible for the Dodgers to overtake Atlanta for first place in the NL. The two teams will likely meet in the NL Championship Series.
Under the new postseason format from last year, the top two out of three first-place teams in each division go directly to the division series, bypassing the wild-card series. With the current format, Atlanta and the Dodgers would go directly to the division series, while the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the Central would start the wild-card series.
In that case, in the Division Series, Atlanta would play the winner of the series between the first and second wild cards, while the Dodgers would face Milwaukee and the winner of the series between the third and fourth wild cards. Of course, it’s too early to tell who the favorites are, but it’s clear that Atlanta will have a comparative advantage over the Dodgers.
If Atlanta and the Dodgers were to make it through the divisional series and meet in the NL Championship Series, Atlanta would have home field advantage, meaning the Dodgers would have to play Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 on the road. It’s a truism in baseball that the home team is always favored, and the historical record shows it.
Los Angeles Dodgers’ James Outman is thrown out at second base by A.J. Albies after Miguel Rojas singled in the sixth inning. AFP
Otherwise, the Dodgers have been swept by Atlanta in the regular season this year. In the three-game series at Truiste Park on May 23-25, the Dodgers won Games 1 and 2 and dropped Game 3 to take the sweep. However, in the second half of the four-game series, they dropped the first two games and have now lost three straight in Atlanta. The Dodgers have a good chance of pulling away, as teams that are stronger in the second half of the season tend to be stronger in fall baseball.
The Atlanta starter was Max Freed, who started the season opener and went on the disabled list (IL) with a hamstring strain, returned on April 18 and pitched four games before injuring his left arm in early May. He spent three months rehabbing.
After an uneven start to his return, Fried has been on a roll lately. He pitched seven innings of three-hit, 10-strikeout ball to pick up his sixth win of the season and lower his ERA to 2.52. Freed is expected to be Atlanta’s No. 1 starter in the postseason. The Atlanta starting rotation of Fried-Spencer Strider-Bryce Elder-Charlie Morton is one of the best in the NL.
Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Julio Urias struggled, giving up five runs on nine hits in five innings. The Dodgers’ rotation of Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller, and Tony Gonsoli is significantly outclassed.
Even in the hard-to-win firepower matchup, Atlanta dominated on this day. Ronald Acuña, Jr. who hit a grand slam the day before to reach the 30-homer plateau for the season and become the first 30-homer, 60-double player in history, led the offense with another home run and a stolen base. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
The Atlanta offense exploded for 14 hits, including three home runs, as Austin Riley went 5-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Marcell Osuna went 4-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. The Dodgers, on the other hand, were not as fortunate, with leadoff man Mookie Betts going 0-for-3 and Freddie Freeman going 1-for-3.
The Dodgers couldn’t muster much offense, except for a three-run homer by Colton Wong, who pinch-hit for Freeman in the eighth inning after falling behind 6-0.