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Lineup breakdown: Dodgers-Braves, Game 1

A look at tonight's starting lineups for Game 1 of the NL Division Series between the Dodgers and the Braves:


1. Carl Crawford, LF: Crawford posted a .304 average as a leadoff hitter in 86 games this season. He struggled at Turner Field, though, going 2-for-12 (.167) in three games. Crawford leads the Dodgers with 15 stolen bases.

2. Mark Ellis, 2B: Ellis was in the No. 2 hole for the majority of his starts this year, hitting .278 with four home runs and 22 RBIs. He went 1-for-13 against the Braves this season. The veteran has a .256 career average in the postseason.

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS: Ramirez hit .345 in 86 games this season, but is making his first appearance in the postseason. He's 5-for-9 (.556) lifetime against Medlen, with one homer and two RBIs.

4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B: Gonzalez anchored the lineup all year, leading the club with 22 homers and 100 RBIs. The slugger had a .368 average in the cleanup spot, compared to .268 when he was in the No. 3 hole.

5. Yasiel Puig, RF: Puig cooled off in September and hit just .214. The rookie was 0-for-3 in the only game he batted fifth. He has 12 homers when he swings at the first pitch.

6. Juan Uribe, 3B: Uribe had his best season with the Dodgers, hitting .278 with 12 homers, 22 doubles and 50 RBIs. In 30 postseason games, he's batting .149.

7. Skip Schumaker, CF: Schumaker is filling in for Andre Ethier in center field. In his career against Medlen, he's 4-for-9 (.444) with a double. Schumaker is hitting .278 lifetime in October.

8. A.J. Ellis, C: Ellis is making his first appearance in the postseason. He saw an average of 4.35 pitchers per plate appearance this year.

9. Clayton Kershaw, LHP: Kershaw is favored to win his second National League Cy Young Award in three years. The left-hander led the Majors with a 1.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, while topping the NL with 232 strikeouts.


1. Jason Heyward, CF: Heyward has faced Kershaw four times in his career, and he struck out all four times. Since returning from a broken jaw, Heyward is 8-for-30 with four extra-base hits and an .838 OPS.

2. Justin Upton, RF: Upton comes into the game riding some solid second-half splits at the plate, though his power numbers were down from 16 homers to 11. No player on the Braves has faced Kershaw more than Upton, and he's 3-for-29 against the Dodgers' ace.

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B: Sure, it's a small sample size, but Freeman has had success against Kershaw with a pair of walks and a home run in four plate appearances. Atlanta's most consistent hitter this season, Freeman anchors the order in the No. 3 spot, where he hit for pretty much all of August and September.

4. Evan Gattis, LF: Infusing some thump and a right-handed bat into the Braves lineup, Gattis gets the start in the cleanup spot, where he has started 46 games this season, but hit just .207 in those contests.

5. Brian McCann, C: After missing the final three games of the regular season because of a nagging groin injury, McCann returns to the lineup, "feeling great." McCann, who is hitting just .176 this season against lefty starters, has never faced Kershaw.

6. Chris Johnson, 3B: Johnson was quietly one of the League's best hitters this season, posting a .321 average, good enough for second in the NL. He pounded lefties to the tune of a .383 mark with a .939 OPS this season.

7. Andrelton Simmons, SS Coming off one of the best defensive seasons -- both aesthetically and saber-metrically -- in Braves history, Simmons gets his first crack at the Division Series round, coming off a 17-homer season.

8. Elliot Johnson, 2B: The Braves showed a lot of faith in Johnson by handing the keys to second base to him for the NL Division Series. And why shouldn't they? The switch-hitter posted his best month of the season in September.

9. Kris Medlen, RHP: A Southern California native, Medlen gets the ball on Thursday for his second career postseason start. He's coming off a NL Pitcher of the Month Award in September and five straight wins.