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NLDS Dodgers-Braves Game 2 preview: Greinke vs. Minor

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Game 2 will pit Zack Greinke (left) against Mike Minor. (USATSI)
Game 2 will pit Zack Greinke (left) against Mike Minor. (USATSI)

Who has the edge? Pirates-Cardinals | Dodgers-Braves | Tigers-A's | Rays-Red Sox

In Game 1 of the NLDS, the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw whipped the home-standing Braves. On Friday, starting at 6:00 pm ET, the Braves will attempt to even the series before it heads to Los Angeles for Games 3 and, if necessary, 4.

The weather.com forecast for Atlanta shows no chance of rain, so the game should be free from interruption from start to finish.

The Braves went 5-2 against the Dodgers in the regular season, but they never faced Kershaw over that span. They did, however, face Game 2 starter Zack Greinke (15-4, 2.63 ERA, 135 ERA+, 1.11 WHIP, 3.22 K/BB ratio). Likewise, the Dodgers got a pair of looks at Atlanta's Game 2 starter, lefty Mike Minor(13-9, 3.21 ERA, 120 ERA+, 1.09 WHIP, 3.93 K/BB ratio).

Let's see how they compare in this particular match-up ...

Greinke vs. Braves

This season, Greinke, as mentioned, faced the Braves only once, on June 6 in L.A. In seven innings of work, Greinke struck out seven, walked three (all unintentionally) and allowed no runs on four hits. On the other hand, players current only on the Braves' roster have combined to hit a productive .280/.336/.449 against Greinke in their careers, albeit across a total sample of just 119 plate appearances. While the sample-size caveat certainly applies in this instance, Justin Upton has batted .429/.556/.929 against Greinke in 18 career plate appearances.

Greinke was less effective on the road this season, as his ERA rose from 2.11 at home to 3.21 away from Dodger Stadium. As will, his K/BB ratio at home (5.25) was miles better than his road K/BB ratio (2.13). On the other hand, Greinke overall has been much better since the All-Star break.

As for more prevailing trends, the Braves' offense this season ranked third in the NL in OPS versus right-handed pitchers and second (to the Coors Field-advantaged Rockies) in OPS at home.

Minor vs. Dodgers

Here are Minor's numbers versus the Dodgers in 2013: Two starts, 12 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 15 K, 5 BB. Current Dodgers have batted 84 times against Minor and have combined for a slash line of .236/.325/.375. A.J. Ellis has hit Minor quite well, but we're talking about an all-but-meaningless sample of 10 plate appearances.

The Dodgers offense as a unit leads the NL in OPS on the road, and they rank sixth in the 15-team NL in OPS versus lefties. Interestingly, Minor this season has been far more effective away from Turner Field in terms of ERA (3.62 at home, 2.76 on the road) but worse in terms of command (2.82 K/BB ratio on the road, 5.67 mark at home). For his career, Minor, a Braves lifer, has a lower ERA at Turner Field than elsewhere.

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