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A capsule look at Dodgers-Braves playoff series

Thursday - 10/3/2013, 12:30am  ET

The Associated Press

A look at the best-of-five National League division series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves:

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Schedule:

(All times EDT) Game 1, Thursday, at Atlanta (8:37 p.m.); Game 2, Friday, at Atlanta (6:07 p.m.); Game 3, Sunday, at Los Angeles (TBA); x-Game 4, Monday, Oct. 7, at Los Angeles (TBA); x-Game 5, Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Atlanta (TBA). (All games on TBS or MLB Network).

x-if necessary.

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Season Series: Braves won 5-2.

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Projected Lineups:

Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig (.319, 19 HRs, 42 RBIs, 11 SBs), LF Carl Crawford (.283, 6, 31, 15 SBs), SS Hanley Ramirez (.345, 20, 57, 10 SBs), 1B Adrian Gonzalez (.293, 22, 100), 2B Mark Ellis (.270, 6, 48), 3B Juan Uribe (.278, 12, 50), CF Skip Schumaker (.263, 2, 30), C A.J. Ellis (.238, 10, 52).

Braves: CF Jason Heyward (.254, 14 HRs, 38 RBIs), RF Justin Upton (.263, 27, 70, 161 Ks), 1B Freddie Freeman (.319, 23, 109, .396 on-base average), LF Evan Gattis (.243, 21, 65), C Brian McCann (.256, 20, 57), 3B Chris Johnson (.321, 12, 68), SS Andrelton Simmons (.248, 17, 59), 2B Elliot Johnson (.209, 2, 19 with Braves and Royals).

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Projected Rotations:

Dodgers: LH Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA), RH Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63), LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00), RH Ricky Nolasco (8-3, 3.52 since arriving from Marlins; 13-11, 3.70 overall).

Braves: RH Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11 ERA), LH Mike Minor (13-9, 3.21), RH Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20), RH Freddy Garcia (4-7, 4.37 with Orioles and Braves).

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Relievers:

Dodgers: RH Kenley Jansen (4-3, 1.88, 28/32 saves), RH Ronald Belisario (5-7, 3.97, 1 save), LH Chris Capuano (4-7, 4.26, 20 starts), RH Carlos Marmol (0-0, 2.53, 21 games with Dodgers), RH Brian Wilson (2-1, 0.66), LH J.P. Howell (4-1, 2.03), LH Paco Rodriguez (3-4, 2.32, 2 saves), RH Brandon League (6-4, 5.30 14/19 saves).

Braves: RH Craig Kimbrel (4-3, 1.21, 50/54 saves, 98 Ks in 67 IP), LH Luis Avilan (5-0, 1.52), RH David Carpenter (4-1, 1.78, 74 Ks in 65 2-3 IP), RH Jordan Walden (4-3, 3.45), LH Alex Wood (3-3, 3.13), RH Anthony Varvaro (3-1, 2.82), RH David Hale (1-0, 0.82, 14 Ks in 2 starts).

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Matchups:

The teams are meeting in the postseason for the first time since the 1996 NL division series, which the Braves swept in three games. ... The Dodgers lost 4-1 to Philadelphia in the 2009 NLCS, ending their last playoff trip. ... The Dodgers got swept in a three-game series at Atlanta in mid-May, then split four games with Atlanta at home in early June before turning their season around. ... Since June 21, the Dodgers went 62-28 to clinch the NL West title. ... Los Angeles finished 11 games ahead of Arizona, its largest first-place margin since moving West in 1958. ... The Dodgers became the third team in major league history to be 9½ games behind and finish in first by 10 or more, joining the 1911 Philadelphia Athletics (won by 13½ games) and the 1914 Boston Braves (won by 10½ games). ... Don Mattingly, now in his third season with the Dodgers, will be managing in the postseason for the first time. ... Kershaw didn't face the Braves in the regular season. ... Greinke was 1-0 against the Braves, scattering four hits over seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. ... Ryu had a no-decision against Atlanta, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings with five strikeouts and five walks. He will make his postseason debut in his rookie season. ... The Dodgers will be without CF Matt Kemp, shut down on the final day of the regular season with swelling of a bone in his sprained left ankle. OF Andre Ethier will likely be limited to pinch-hitting duties because of his own ankle issues. He hasn't played in the field since Sept. 13. ... Medlen did not allow an earned run in two starts against the Dodgers this season. He went 1-0, allowing seven hits in 13 2-3 innings. ... California native Freeman went 9 of 26 (.346) with four RBIs against Los Angeles. ... Kimbrel saved four of Atlanta's five victories over the Dodgers, with nine strikeouts in four innings.

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Big Picture:

Dodgers: They haven't reached the World Series since winning the title in 1988. ... They began the season with one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but by June 21 had dropped a season-worst 12 games under .500 and fell 9½ games behind first-place Arizona. Mattingly was rumored to be on the hot seat. ... Injuries to Greinke, Capuano, Ramirez, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis and Kemp were part of the Dodgers' early struggles. ... The arrival of Puig, the energetic Cuban rookie, in early June sparked the team and helped spur the turnaround. ... The Dodgers (92-70) went 42-8 from late June to mid-August before their momentum ran out and they finished as the third seed in the NL, forcing them to start the playoffs on the road. ... Puig came close to making the NL All-Star team mere weeks after his June 3 call-up. ... Like Puig, Ramirez was instrumental in the turnaround despite appearing in barely half the team's games because of injury. ... It is the team's first playoff berth under new management that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.

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