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Braves Vs. Dodgers: Atlanta Seeks Series Split Against Clayton Kershaw And Los Angeles

The Braves are looking to salvage a series tie in the four-game set with the Dodgers during an afternoon affair. Game time is 3:10 on SportSouth.

Braves Lineup:
1. Martin Prado, LF
2. Alex Gonzalez, SS
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Dan Uggla, 2B
5. Freddie Freeman, 1B
6. David Ross, C
7. Nate McLouth, CF
8. Matt Young, RF
9. Jair Jurrjens, SP

Dodgers Lineup:
1. Tony Gwynn, LF
2. Casey Blake, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Matt Kemp, CF
5. Juan Uribe, 2B
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Rod Barajas, C
8. Jamey Carroll, SS
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP

Jair Jurrjens (2010: 116.1 IP, 4.64 ERA, 4.19 FIP, 4.29 xFIP, 3.25 BB/9, 6.65 K/9, 39.9 GB%, 8.9 SwStr%)
(63.9 FB%, 20.2 CH%, 15.9 SL%; 47.8 Swing%, 80.8 Contact%)
vs.
Clayton Kershaw (24.1 IP, 2.96 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 2.94 xFIP, 3.33 BB/9, 10.73 K/9, 43.3 GB%, 9.4 SwStr%)
(70.2 FB%, 21.1 SL%, 6.3 CB%, 2.5 CH%; 46.2 Swing%, 78.6 Contact%)

Jair Jurrjens dominated in his season debut, shutting out the Mets over seven innings with just two hits and one walk allowed. He relied more heavily on the fastball and changeup while throwing fewer sliders, and the fastball/changeup combination looked excellent. Jurrjens seems to be past the oblique injury that sidelined him through the first couple weeks of the season.

Clayton Kershaw has two shutouts out of his four starts this season, and he has established himself as a frontline ace for the Dodgers, especially after the Opening Day outing in which he outdueled Tim Lincecum over seven innings. Kershaw's K/BB of 3.22 is the best of his career so far due to a very high K-rate, and his line drive rate is sitting pretty at 16.7%. He has a tremendous slider that is the reason for many of his strikeouts, and his fastball runs 92-95 on most days. The Braves, like any opponent, will have their hands full with Kershaw.

Opposing Numbers:
Martin Prado is 1-7 against Kershaw, and David Ross is 1-4. Otherwise, no Braves hitter has a hit against the left-hander.

The combination of Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and James Loney each have four hits against Jurrjens. Kemp and Casey Blake each have a home run and three RBI.

What to Look For:
The Braves would do well to salvage a four-game split, but Kershaw will not make things easy for the offense. Being able to put together some hits is always the most important thing when he takes the mound.

For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Dodgers fans check out True Blue LA.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.