Braves: Atlanta (96-66) won its first division title since 2005 despite a devastating rash of injuries. Seven players — including starting pitcher Tim Hudson and relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters — are out for the season. ... The Braves also had to deal with two key players, CF B.J. Upton and 2B Dan Uggla, struggling through horrible years. Upton, signed to a five-year, $75.25 million contract before the season and united with younger brother Justin, batted .184 with nine homers, 26 RBIs and 151 strikeouts in 391 at-bats. Uggla played so poorly that he underwent eye surgery in an attempt to improve things, but it didn't help. He hit .179 with 171 strikeouts in 448 at-bats, though he did provide some power with 22 homers and 55 RBIs. Manager Fredi Gonzalez had little choice except to bench the big-money players, adjusting the outfield to put Heyward in center and rookie Gattis in left, while Johnson, acquired off waivers from Kansas City in August, has been starting at second base. Uggla was left off the division series roster, along with veteran left-handers Paul Maholm and Scott Downs. ... Gattis, a non-roster invite to spring training who quit baseball for several years and surprisingly made the team, turned out to be a savior. He played catcher, first base and the outfield while showing a penchant for coming through in the clutch. His 65 RBIs led all NL rookies, while his 21 homers ranked second to San Diego 2B Jedd Gyorko. ... Johnson, a throw-in to the deal that brought Justin Upton to the Braves from Arizona, also had a surprisingly strong season. He led the league in hitting much of the season before finishing second to Colorado's Michael Cuddyer. ... Kimbrel led the NL in saves for the third year in a row with a career-high 50. Over three full seasons in the majors, the hard-throwing right-hander has allowed just 114 hits with 341 strikeouts in 206 2-3 innings. If the Braves have a lead heading to the ninth inning, the game is as good as over. ... The Braves struck out 1,384 times, tied for the third-most in the league. Three players — Uggla, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton (161) — struck out more than 150 times. ... After building a commanding lead in the NL East, the Braves struggled down the stretch, going 13-14 in the final month and failing to win more than two games in a row.
— Cy Young favorite. Kershaw was the only Dodger on the All-Star team. He won the Cy Young Award in 2011 and is the favorite again. He led the majors in ERA for the third straight year, and his 1.83 mark was the lowest since Boston's Pedro Martinez had a 1.74 ERA in 2000.
— Going low. The Braves led the majors with a 3.18 team ERA, and the Dodgers were second at 3.25.
— Home Sweet Home. The Braves are baseball's best home team, going 56-25 at Turner Field. The Braves haven't lost more than two games in a row on a homestand since July 3-4, and the only time they've lost as many as three in a row in Atlanta was May 1-3. Of course, playing the first two games at the Ted may not matter as much against the Dodgers, who had the NL's best road record (45-36).
— Postseason Floppers: Atlanta's reputation as a poor playoff team is well-earned, going back to a record streak of 14 straight division titles (1991-2005) that resulted in only one World Series championship. The Braves haven't won a postseason series since 2001, dropping the last seven in a row. Six times in that stretch, they lost the deciding game at Turner Field. The last thing the Braves want is a decisive Game 5 at home.