Dodgers-Braves: Things to know as Freddie Freeman returns to Atlanta as an opponent

The Los Angeles Dodgers go to the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series this weekend, beginning Friday night in Truist Park. It’s a rematch of the 2021 NLCS — and really 2020 also. Might this be a sneak peek of the third-straight league champion series in between these 2 NL titans? Perhaps. 

Here’s the schedule for the series with the pitching probables. 

The greatest story is, naturally, the return of veteran Braves star Freddie Freeman. 

Drafted in the 2nd complete of high school in 2007 by the Braves, Freeman ended up second in NL Rookie of the Year ballot with the club in 2011, used a couple of competitors, was around throughout a teardown and reconstruct and after that was a group leader up through the World Series champion in 2021. In his time with the Braves, he was a five-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, a Gold Glover and an MVP. He ranks 12th in franchise history in WAR behind 10 Hall of Famers, plus Andruw Jones and Dale Murphy. 

Freeman, however, signed a six-year, $162 million handle the Dodgers in the offseason. This will be his very first time playing in front of the Atlanta fans as the “enemy,” though we can anticipate a huge ovation for his very first plate look. 

He’s on fire, too. In his last 5 video games, Freeman is 11 for 22 with 2 doubles, a triple, 3 crowning achievement and 11 RBI. 

Here are some more products of interest. 

Familial enemies

From April 18-20, the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the Braves in Dodger Stadium. There was a feel-good minute with Freeman’s boy going to hug Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and after that Freeman homered in his very first at-bat. Former Dodgers more detailed Kenley Jansen — now with the Braves — got a good welcome from the Dodgers, too. Jansen would tape the conserve in the center video game of the series. 

Some of this is to state, we have actually currently had Freeman dealing with the Braves. We’ve currently had Jansen’s go back to Dodger Stadium in another uniform and we have actually currently had Jansen dealing with the Braves. We’ve inspected whatever off the list other than Freeman in Atlanta as a challenger. 

Acuña is back

I think technically there was another box to be inspected. When the Braves checked out L.A. previously in the season, Braves super star Ronald Acuña, Jr. wasn’t withdraw the hurt list yet. Remember, he tore his ACL last July and after that the Braves went on an unlikely go to the title without him. 

One may likewise remember right prior to the start of this season, Acuña made some discuss his relationship with Freeman that drew excellent attention. He later on minimized them and stated they were overemphasized while Freeman didn’t state anything negative about Acuña in reaction

The essential thing here has to do with how Acuña is playing. He began a little sluggish, however is still slashing .275/.367/.456 (125 OPS+) with 8 doubles, 7 crowning achievement, 18 RBI, 26 runs, 12 takes and 1.5 WAR in 41 video games. Simply, he’s once again among the very best and most enjoyable gamers in baseball

Not that he’s the only factor to enjoy the Braves. From veterans Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson to children William Contreras and Michael Harris to a great deal of the pitching personnel, well … 

The Braves are rising

The World Series hangover went through May. After 2 straight losses to the Diamondbacks, the Braves were 27-31, 10 1/2 video games out of very first and fives video games far from playoff position as the calendar relied on June.

They would win 14 in a row to begin the month. After 2 losses, they have actually now won 4 of 5, pressing them to 18-3 with a +63 run differential. If they began the season like this, there would be early “best team ever” conversations.  

As things stand, they are still 4 video games behind the Mets, however hold the 2nd wild-card area and definitely have the appearance of a playoff group. There were some misdirected folks out there naysaying their winning streak given that it came versus just sub-.500 groups. First off, they won every video game. Beating up on weaker groups is just a deserving conversation point when a group is winning something like 6 out of 10, not 14 straight. This is baseball and anybody who understands how the sport works understands that 14 straight  anytime is remarkable. Secondly, the Braves simply took 3 of 4 from a Giants group that had actually won 7 of 9 and was 9 video games over .500 being available in. 

The point is that this is a strong group playing its finest baseball of the year today. 

The Dodgers remained in a mini-funk

When you have actually developed a standard level of achievement, it’s the expectation that the group will constantly carry out like that. As such, when the Dodgers have a stretch with as numerous losses as wins, it raises the eyebrows a bit. From May 30-June 12, the Dodgers really went 4-9. They then won 2 video games versus the Angels, however lost 2 of 3 in the house to the Guardians. They had a losing record in the month of June and are now neck-and-neck with the Padres in the NL West race. 

They are better than this and every group goes through funks, however that does not make it any less noteworthy. 

Anyway, I stated “were” there in the subhead due to the fact that they simply swept the Reds in 3 video games and outscored them 26-11. Yes, it was the Reds and they are among baseball’s worst groups this season, however often that’s all it requires to get a fantastic group going. Just take a look at the Braves and how their winning streak began. 

Something to enjoy: Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger all had huge video games on Thursday. They’ve jointly varied from ruthless (Muncy) to crappy this season. If, in some way, those 3 all fumed at the exact same time, this Dodgers lineup ends up being the most hazardous in baseball. 

This is establishing to be an exceptional weekend of baseball. 

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