It’s been a while since either team played a truly meaningful game. The Dodgers took control of the NL West with an amazing 2½-month stretch and cruised in the final weeks. The Braves won the East going away, their lead not at all threatened by a losing record over the final month. Now, it’s time to get serious again. The teams meet Thursday night in Game 1 of the NLDS in Atlanta.
Los Angeles knows slugging outfielder Matt Kemp is out for the postseason with an injured left ankle, and Andre Ethier is hobbled by ankle issues and won’t be playing the outfield.