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Mike Soroka, Braves look to cool off Dodgers

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The Braves open up a three-game series against the Dodgers Friday in a possible playoff preview.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Minnesota Twins Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

The National League’s top two teams will square off this weekend when the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers square off in a three-game series at SunTrust Park. Atlanta was outscored 23-7 over a three-game sweep in Los Angeles back in early May so they will be looking for a much better showing this time around.

Atlanta arrives in this series with a 72-51 record and a 5.5 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL East standings. They just finished taking two of three from a Mets team that was scorching upon their arrival in Atlanta. The Dodgers are 81-42 and are running away with the NL West once again with a 19.5 game lead over Arizona and San Francisco. They have won eight of 10 and own the best run differential in baseball at +208.

Mike Soroka will get the nod in the series opener for Atlanta and will be looking to continue a solid stretch of performances. Soroka has been a ground ball machine this season and currently has the second best ERA in the majors at 2.32. He has pitched at least seven innings in three straight starts and four of his last six. He allowed three hits over seven shutout innings in his last outing against the Marlins.

The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Made allowed just three hits over seven scoreless innings last time out against the Diamondbacks. That snapped a stretch of four straight starts where his longest outing was 4 1/3 innings.

Dodgers’ outfielder Cody Bellinger hit his 40th home run of the season on Thursday and appears to be the frontrunner for NL MVP at the moment. He leads the National League with 6.5 fWAR and has a 172 wRC+.

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. is trying to work his way into the MVP discussion. Acuña hit his team-leading 35th home run of the season Thursday night and leads the National League in runs scored with 103. He has a 135 wRC+ and is fourth in the NL in fWAR at 4.9. Acuña needs just two stolen bases to reach the 30-30 plateau with a 40-40 season within reach.

Coverage for Friday’s series opener will get underway at 7:20 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports South.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, August 16, 7:20 p.m. ET

Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: Fox Sports South, MLB Network


Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network