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A marquee matchup in the National League will headline the Tuesday slate in Major League Baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves rank first and second overall in the National League, and first place in their respective divisions at this point in the season. That makes games like this one a little more significant than usual, as wins against one another could help with home-field advantage in the postseason just a few months from now.
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the first game of this three-game series by beating the Braves 8-6 on Monday night. That win was much-needed for the Braves, who had lost three of four to the St. Louis Cardinals entering this week’s play. Now, the Dodgers will look for a second straight win over Atlanta to make a statement that the National League runs through Los Angeles once again.
Making his major league debut on the mound for the Dodgers is Bobby Miller, in a less than enviable position to make an initial appearance at this level of competition. Miller will need to find a way to stay composed in a hostile environment. More importantly, he will need to adjust quickly to the quality of the Atlanta lineup, as they are more than capable of putting hurting the rookie from the start of this contest.
In order to help Miller in his first career start, the Dodgers will have to find a way to put up some runs against Spencer Strider of the Braves. Scoring runs is not typically an issue for the Dodgers, as they lead the National League in runs scored on the season. But the Dodgers could have a harder time than usual against the pitcher at the top of the NL Cy Young odds list in this potential NLCS preview.
The Atlanta Braves come into Tuesday night at 29-18, one game behind the Dodgers for the best record in the National League. After a loss in which they gave up eight runs to Los Angeles on Monday, the Braves turn to their ace in Spencer Strider to lock the Dodgers down on Tuesday. The question is whether Strider can pitch to his usual level against the most potent lineup in the National League so far in 2023.
Strider enters this matchup at 4-1 on the season with a 2.96 ERA, and it will be his ability to strike batters out that could help him silence the Dodgers' bats. Strider has struck out 86 batters so far this season, a total that leads Major League Baseball. If he can continue to avoid hard contact in this contest, the Braves could come away with a huge win to get them back into a tie with the Dodgers in the National League standings.
Interestingly, home-field advantage might not be a huge factor for the Braves in this game, as they have been better on the road than at home on the year. Atlanta is just 12-11 at home on the season, compared to a dominant 17-7 away from Truist Park. But if the Braves can stay above .500 at home with a win in this matchup, they will gain a ton of confidence going into Wednesday’s rubber match.
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Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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