NLCS 2021: A look back at playoff history between Braves and Dodgers

It’s official: The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will meet in the National League Championship Series after their respective wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Francisco Giants.

For Atlanta, it’s a shot at redemption after the team lost to Los Angles in Game 7 of the NLCS last year.

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Of course, each franchise has a storied history in Major League Baseball and with each other.

The two teams used to be rivals in the NL West and compete for division pennants until the Braves moved to the NL East When the late Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, it came against the Dodgers on April 8, 1974.

In the postseason though, the teams have only met four times since the divisions were restructured. Here is a look back at each series.

1996: Braves vs Dodgers in National League Division Series

The 1996 NLDS marked the first postseason meeting between these storied franchises. Two years earlier, the Braves officially moved from the NL West to the NL East.

Atlanta entered the 1996 season as the defending World Series championship and easily won their fifth straight division pennant. .

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The Braves faced off against the wild card Dodgers. After a Game 1 win in extra innings, Atlanta closed out the series with a sweep.

Atlanta defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS Game 7 but lost the World Series, 4-2, to the New York Yankees.

2013: Braves vs Dodgers in National League Division Series

The two teams wouldn’t met again in the postseason until the 2013 NLDS. Atlanta had home field advantage but split the series. The Braves Game 2 win would turn out to be the final postseason game at Turner Field.

Out in Los Angeles, the Dodgers easily won Game 3, 13-6. In a win or go home situation, the Braves held a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the 8th inning.

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Much to the fans chagrin, manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to not bring in closer Craig Kimbrel with the lead. The Dodgers would take the lead and win the series.

2018: Braves vs Dodgers in National League Division Series

After the 2013 series, Atlanta went into a 5-year playoff drought until it won the NL East in 2018. A lot of excitement surrounded the Braves team with the emergence of rookie Ronald Acuna Jr.

The young Braves star provided the most unforgettable moment of the seasons with a Game 3 grand slam in the first playoff game at Truist Park.

Unfortunately, Atlanta would drop the series, 3-1.

2020: Braves vs Dodgers in National League Championship Series

Atlanta ended a 19-year drought with its first trip to the NLCS since 2001 and once again, the Braves had to face the Dodgers.

This series was different in the age of COVID-19 and played at a neutral site in Arlington. Atlanta fans had plenty of hope after the Braves took a 2-0 and then 3-1 series lead.

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The Braves only had to win one more game and would make their first World Series trip since 1999. But the Dodgers, who were favored to win the series, took control and won three straight games. Los Angeles would eventually claim the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Can the Braves get over the hump this season? Only time will tell.

Game 1 of the NLCS begins Saturday night at 8 p.m. followed by Game 2 Sunday night at 7:37 p.m. at Truist Park.