Braves @ Dodgers May 3, 2024: Dodgers return home to start series with top seed in the NL

Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers wrapped up their nine-game road trip on Wednesday in commanding fashion, as Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw a second consecutive scoreless outing and the Ohtani-less lineup put up eight runs against the Diamondbacks. That wrapped up a 7-2 roadtrip to bounce back from their previous 3-6 homestand. The Dodgers had an off day yesterday and celebrated their annual gala. I haven’t seen any new dances coming from that (is it possible to dance to Ed Sheeran?), but we did get this content.

Today, the Dodgers kick off a six-game homestand with a three-game set against the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta has, unsurprisingly, been quite good this season. Their .690 winning percentage is the best in baseball, and their +48 run differential is the second-best in the NL only behind the Dodgers (shoutout that 8-0 win Wednesday). They’re coming off their first non-rain-delay-shortened series loss of the season, as they dropped the first two games against Seattle before winning the finale. They lost two of three against the Mets earlier this season, but that was supposed to be a four-game set. In 2023, Atlanta took four of seven against the Dodgers. The Dodgers took two of three when they played in Atlanta, but lost three of four in LA. They were pretty easily the two best teams in the NL last season and had the top four finalists in the MVP race, so naturally they combined for one win in the postseason.

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7:10 P.M. Los Angeles
RF Acuña Jr. SS Betts
2B Albies (S) DH Ohtani (L)
3B Riley 1B Freeman (L)
1B Olson (L) C Smith
DH Ozuna 3B Muncy (L)
C d’Arnaud LF T. Hernández
CF Harris II (L) RF Pages
SS Arcia CF Outman (L)
LF Kelenic (L) 2B Lux (L)
P Morton (R) P Stone (R)

Gavin Stone gets his sixth start of the season. Stone had a strange but great outing last time out in Toronto. He allowed two hits and a run over seven innings, but only struck out two batters (and walked two). One of those two hits was the first homer Stone has allowed this season. His threw his changeup, which is widely regarded as his best pitch, only 14.9 percent of the time in that last start. It continued a recent trend for Stone, as his last three starts have been his lowest changeup usage rates in his 13 career outings. Stone’s had a strange season so far. In his first three starts, Stone generated 43 swinging strikes and had a 2.11 FIP, but allowed a .744 OPS and allowed 10 runs in 14 2/3 innings. In his last two, Stone has allowed three runs in 10 1/3 innings and a .608 OPS against, but has generated only four eight swinging strikes and a 5.85 FIP. Last time Stone pitched at Dodger Stadium, he matched his (short) career-high as he walked five Mets. His other five-walk outing came in his second career start, which was in Atlanta last May. Stone lasted four innings and allowed five hits, five walks and five runs in that game in Atlanta.

The opposing pitcher for that game was Charlie Morton, who also starts tonight. In that start last season, Morton allowed seven hits and six runs over five innings and allowed homers to Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez. Morton’s been pretty solid in his five starts so far this season. He’s allowed 12 runs in 30 innings, and 10 of those runs came in two rough outings. He’s had two scoreless outings including his last time out, when he threw seven shutout against the surprisingly good Guardians.

Morton relies heavily on his curveball and fastball, much like he has throughout his career. He’s thrown one of those two pitches nearly 75 percent of the time this season and last season. His curve was incredible last season. He threw it 43.2 percent of the time and allowed a .170 batting average and .258 slugging percentage off it while maintaining a 42 percent whiff rate. He’s thrown it 42.5 percent of the time this season and while he’s still allowing low batting averages and slugging off it, his whiff rate so far has been only 27 percent. He throws a four-seamer 32.8 percent of the time and has also thrown a changeup, sinker and cutter this season.

A pretty standard lineup for the Dodgers, with Shohei Ohtani returning from his first off day on Wednesday.


Lots of injury updates today, with news on Blake Treinen, Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller and Jason Heyward.

Treinen has potentially completed his rehab assignment. He’ll be in LA tonight and could be activated soon. He threw in back-to-back games at AAA and only allowed one baserunner in those two outings. He threw 15 and 11 pitches in those two outings with 11 and nine of them for strikes, respectively.

Kershaw checked off a milestone as he threw his first bullpen since undergoing shoulder surgery. He was expected to be back in the second half of the season, but it’s always good to hit that first milestone. Miller also threw a bullpen and will likely have a few more of those before facing hitters.

Heyward also seems to be inching closer to a return, which poses an interesting question roster-wise with the success Andy Pages has since his call up.


Not really an update from today, but Wednesday it was announced that Walker Buehler is back.

Buehler will make his first start since June 10, 2022. He’ll get the ball to open up the series against Miami on Monday.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.