The Mets avoided the sweep by the Braves holding on to win the last game of the series 10-8. After taking two of three from the Mets, the Dodgers are next up for the Braves in a blockbuster three-game series from the best two teams in the National League.
The Braves found themselves in the hole after the first inning when Pete Alonso blasted a three-run home run. Add three more runs in the second and one more in the third and the Braves were buried under a barrage of Mets offense. The Braves did manage to make the game interesting later in the game, but it was too big of a lead for the Braves offense to overcome. It was nice to see the Braves offense come to life in the 8th and 9th inning with home runs from Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman, and Ronald Acuna Jr.
The NL East lead for the Braves now sits at 5.5 games over Washington, 8 over Philadelphia, and 9 over New York. So even by winning the series with the Mets, the Braves still lose a game in the standings to the Nationals, who continue to play stellar baseball. The Nationals are on the Braves heels, but if the Braves keep winning, there should be nothing to worry about going down the final stretch of the season.
Now, the Braves are done with the Mets, the Dodgers are coming to town. The two-time defending National League Champions, Los Angeles Dodgers, has been, arguably, the best team in all of baseball, and without a doubt, the best team in the National League all season. With a record of 81-42, the Dodgers have been laying waste to baseball all season. This series will be the second, and final, of the season for these two teams. The Dodgers swept the Braves in May.
This series with the Dodgers will be a great barometer for the Braves heading into September and the playoffs. When it comes to the Dodgers, the Braves need a boost against this team. Winning a series against the Dodgers, even if it’s in August, can go very far for a team’s confidence. And the Braves will need some confidence if these two teams happen to meet in the playoffs. The Dodgers have owned the Braves, sweeping them this season and knocking Atlanta out of the playoffs last season. A series win or dare I say a sweep, would be exactly what this team needs.
Just like in the Mets series, when the Braves avoided facing Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, the Braves will be avoided Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler in this three-game set with the Dodgers. It’s all luck the Braves avoided all these great pitchers, but that just puts the onus on the Braves, even more, to get a result in this upcoming series. The Braves will have Max Fried and Mike Soroka going against the Dodgers in two of the games. This will be a proper test for these two young pitchers who will be so vital in the Braves playoff hopes.
The Braves will have to treat this weekend series like it is the playoffs. The Braves are the second-best team in the NL. If this team wants to get to a World Series this season or anytime soon, they’ll have to go through the Dodgers eventually. The Braves need to do everything in their power to take this series from the Dodgers to build momentum going towards the playoffs. The Braves will have to beat the best teams in baseball if they want to be among the best teams. This weekend will be a good place to start.