Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed a torrid month of August but they remain behind the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League.
That won’t change after this weekend’s four-game series at Dodger Stadium, as the best the Dodgers can do is pull into a tie with the Braves atop the NL standings. What will be decided is the season series and implications for a potential tiebreaker.
“Obviously four games separates us as far as the one (seed) versus two in the National League, so that has value certainly,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the matchup.
“And the other part, I think most importantly, is just gathering information. I think we know each other pretty well, but we haven’t seen them in a while. We’re going to get to see their guys, so it will be a good test for all of us.”
When the Dodgers last faced the Braves in May, they won two of three games at Truist Park. Gavin Stone’s start was only the second of his career and Bobby Miller made his MLB debut. The Dodgers nevertheless won both of those games.
Expectations for both teams were lofty at the time and to this point those have been realized.
Ronald Acuña Jr. emerged as an early NL MVP favorite, though Mookie Betts has notly vaulted himself into the conversation but arguably become the leader in the race.
While the Braves and Dodgers are going to garner plenty of attention, Roberts is keeping the bigger picture in mind.
“I think the main thing is getting to and through October healthy,” he said. “But I think we do a good job, as I’ve said many times, of just focusing on the day. We’re going to try to win as many games as we can and we’ll see how it plays out.”
Roberts added the Dodgers aren’t likely to adjust their approach or mindset for the rest of the regular season even if they do close the gap in the NL standings.
“Us getting into the postseason and getting healthy, that trumps everything,” he reiterated.
Dodgers starters for Braves series
Lance Lynn is expected to start for the Dodgers in the series opener, followed by Julio Urías on Friday night. The Dodgers have not announced a starter for Saturday’s game — it’s likely Stone is recalled — and Miller is taking the ball in the finale on Sunday.
The Braves have lined up Spencer Strider, Max Fried, Bryce Elder and Charlie Morton.
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