Braves @ Dodgers June 3, 2016: Back at home

The Dodgers open a three-game series at home against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. After a tough road trip ending with a series loss in Chicago, they continue to look for their first win in June. Coming away with a series win in New York was encouraging, but the incessant injuries and inconsistent offense has made a 5 1/2 game lead by the Giants in the National League West seem a bit overwhelming.

In light of Alex Wood‘s unfortunate injury and the early struggles of Julio Urias, Maeda (4-3, 3.00) has become an even more vital component of the Dodgers’ starting rotation. He hit a rough patch after starting his Dodger career with some superb pitching and the unforgettable home run. Maeda’s last start was shortened after he was hit in the hand with a line drive at Citi Field, and his start was pushed back a day after he experienced swelling.

7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
 CF  Inciarte  2B  Utley
 SS  D’Arnaud  SS  Seager
 1B  Freeman  3B  Turner
 3B  Garcia  1B  Gonzalez
 RF  Markakis  CF  Pederson
 C  Flowers  C  Grandal
2B  Johnson  RF  Thompson
P  Teheran (R)  LF  Crawford
Maeda (R)


Maeda’s win in New York was his first victory since April 23. He allowed 2 hits over 5 shutout innings with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks on 75 pitches. Maeda has found more success on the road (3-0, 1.91) than at home (1-3, 4.08) in his first ten MLB starts. For the Dodgers, he has the second-best starter ERA on the team behind Clayton Kershaw, second-lowest opponents’ batting average (.207) and second-best WHIP (1.05).

Julio Teheran (1-5, 2.77) also has had trouble pitching at Dodger Stadium. He is 0-4 with a 5.63 ERA in 5 career games against Los Angeles and is 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in his 2 starts at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers faced Atlanta’s Julio on April 20 and came away with a 5-3 win. He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Yasiel Puig is hitting .500 against Teheran with 5 hits including two walks, a double and a home run in 12 plate appearances. Unfortunately Puig is out of the lineup for the fourth straight game with a sore left hamstring and could be placed on the disabled list.

Despite the injuries, the Dodgers’ pitching has been keeping this team afloat and above .500. The offense has been uninspiring thus far. Many of the veterans haven’t met expectations as far as offensive production, and it certainly could be the difference between a .500 team and a division winning club. Dustin looked at some of the options for offensive upgrades, but the changes for now have to come from the veterans including Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal who are all underperforming this season.

The Dodgers are 11th in the NL in team batting average and OBP (.236, .308), 13th in slugging (.372), tenth in home runs (53), ninth in runs per game (4.22) and 11th in wRC+ (87). Their numbers at home are even worse. They are hitting a collective .222/.294/.359 with 26 home runs and 3.44 runs per game at Dodger Stadium.

All of a sudden Carl Crawford is starting his fifth game in a row. He is blistering the ball with a slashline of .192/.238/.244, and he hasn’t hit a home run nor stole a base this season. Scott Van Slyke was seen at Dodger Stadium on Friday, but he won’t be activated until this weekend. It’s possible that Puig will be placed on the disabled list. He appeared in Thursday’s game in Chicago as pinch-hitter and struck out. The Dodgers are carrying an injured player for too long instead of placing them on the disabled list? It’s the same old story.

Howie Kendrick sits out in the series opener after he did something to his left shoulder on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field. Dave Roberts said he is available to run, play defense and pinch hit. Roberts also cited the reason why Turner remains in the third slot is because “he is still getting on base.”

Brett Anderson is starting do baseball things. 

It would be a perfect time to rattle off a few wins in a row against the last-place Braves. The Dodgers won two of three against the Braves at Turner Field back in April.

Is a winning game free of injury too much to ask for?

Update: Puig was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, and Scott Van Slyke was activated prior to the game.

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About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.