The Los Angeles Dodgers return home on Friday night after a very successful road trip in which they won five of six games against the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates despite minimal contributions from their starting rotation.
They welcome a solid young ballclub in the Atlanta Braves to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series, with the first meeting featuring a pitching matchup between rookie phenom Walker Buehler and former Dodger Brandon McCarthy.
McCarthy faces the Dodgers for the first time since being traded last offseason. He’s had an up-and-down season so far with the Braves, as his 5-2 record could be more indicative of how he has pitched compared to his 4.83 ERA, 4.22 FIP and 1.50 WHIP while striking out 52 compared to 19 walks in 63.1 innings.
McCarthy has given up three earned runs or less in nine of his 12 starts, but his numbers were a bit inflated in those other three starts when he gave up eight, six and five runs. McCarthy has a 4.04 ERA in 107 career innings at Dodger Stadium both as a member of the Dodgers and a visitor.
Buehler has been one of the Dodgers’ best starters so far this season, going 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA, 2.35 FIP and 1.02 WHIP in eight starts. In 46 innings, he has struck out 50 hitters compared to just 11 walks.
He is coming off perhaps his worst start of the season last week at Coors Field when he gave up eight hits and four runs in five innings. Buehler allowed each of those runs in the second inning and was still able to battle and get through five.
Buehler has enjoyed the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium this season, yielding a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings at home compared to 4.29 in 21 road innings.
Justin Turner is out of the Dodgers lineup for the third time in the last four games. He is dealing with soreness in the left wrist that he fractured during Spring Training. Joc Pederson is back in the leadoff spot. He is coming off a strong road trip in which he went 8-for-17 with five home runs.
Braves All-Star Freddie Freeman is also swinging a hot bat, hitting safely in 18 of his last 19 games while slashing .377/.435/.571 in that span.
CF: Joc Pederson
3B: Max Muncy
LF: Matt Kemp
1B: Cody Bellinger
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Yasmani Grandal
SS: Kiké Hernández
2B: Logan Forsythe
P: Walker Buehler
2B: Ozzie Albies
SS: Dansby Swanson
1B: Freddie Freeman
RF: Nick Markakis
C: Kurt Suzuki
CF: Ender Inciarte
LF: Charlie Culberson
3B: Ryan Flaherty
P: Brandon McCarthy