Rob Carr/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series for the third straight season after defeating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Monday at SunTrust Park in the 2018 MLB playoffs.Rich Hill got the start for Los Angeles and allowed two runs in 4.1 innings of work.With the Braves leading 2-1 David Robertson Jersey , David Freese put the Dodgers ahead with a two-run single in the top of the sixth. An inning later, Manny Machado tacked three more runs on the board with a homer off Braves relieverChad Sobotka.Manny Machado the Key to Ending Dodgers' World Series DroughtMachado went 1-for-12 in the first three games of the NLDS.The four-time All-Star helped set the tone for Los Angeles with an RBI double in the first inning. Then came the three-run homer to provide the Dodgers with much-needed breathing room.MLB MLBOh my, Manny. 馃槼馃槺 GJV2sjneDMAs good as Justin Turner and Corey Seager played for the Dodgers over the past two years, they don't match up with Machado when he's performing at his peak. He brings a different dimension to Los Angeles' offense, which is why the teamgave up five prospectsfor a player who may only be a half-season rental.According to FanGraphs, the Dodgers ranked20thin weighted on-base average (.314) and14thin weighted runs created plus (97) in 2016. They climbed toseventh(.330) andtied for fourth(104) in those two categories in 2017 and continued improving in 2018. Los Angeles isthirdin wOBA (.333) andtied for firstin wRC+ (111).Machado doesn't deserve sole credit for the team's offensive success since he only appeared in 66 games during the regular season. But he helped take what was already a good lineup鈥攁nd one that had to replace Seager鈥攁nd raised it to a new level.If the Dodgers go on to win their first World Series since 1988, Machado will almost certainly be a big reason why.Overachieving Braves Have Bright Future in 2019Nothing can take the sting away from a playoff defeat, but Braves fans should be heartened by the fact that the best is yet to come for the franchise.Joe Sheehan joe_sheehanThe #Braves will be back here, and damned soon.Grant McAuley grantmcauleyThey provided the fan base with a spark after years of frustration. They had far more ups than downs and showed the rest of baseball that Atlanta is knocking on the door of greatness again. Heres to the 2018 #Braves. They earned their respect. Thank you for a great season, guys.Woody Cain WYcainDodgers have better roster than Braves this yr. 6-8 guys who have been there-done that. Snitker took bunch of kids amp;amp; few veterans sprinkled in amp;amp; won division when NOBODY thought they could-Fun to watch for 1st time in years. Plus http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-sonny-gray-jersey , guy who built LA roster is now doing same in ATLSuccess is never guaranteed, something to which one of Atlanta's division rivals can attest. The Washington Nationals could have nothing more than four NLDS appearances from the Bryce Harper era.But the Braves are clearly a team on the rise and they might even be ahead of schedule by pushing the Dodgers to four games in the NLDS. Atlanta built a winning team in the short term while maintaining its massive potential for the future.The core of the Braves' roster will be back in 2019, with Jonny Venters, Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki, Brad Brach and Anibal Sanchez their most notable free agents. More importantly, fans have seenOzzie Albies and Ronald Acuna only scratch the surface of what they can do in the majors.Improving the starting rotation will be critical for Atlanta after its starters combined to finish 12th in FIP (3.99), perFanGraphs. Especially if they opt against re-signing Sanchez, the Braves will be looking to one of Kyle Wright orMike Soroka, who are 23 and 21 respectively Luis Severino Jersey , to take a bigger role on the pitching staff.With better starting pitching, the Braves won't need to push their bullpen so hard in the postseason, which was a problem in the NLDS.Playoff Experience Gives Dodgers Edge in NLCSThe Milwaukee Brewers tied afranchise recordby winning 96 games in the regular season.They have an offense anchored by MVP candidate Christian Yelich, who can almost single-handedly swing a postseason series.In the NLDS, Milwaukee pitchers not named Jeremy Jeffress held the Colorado Rockies scoreless and limited Rockies hitters to eight hits over 24.2 innings.The NLCS promises to be a close series in which the slimmest of margins will separate advancing to the World Series from a playoff exit.Because of that, one can't help but think the Dodgers' collective experience in October will put them over the top.Freese is a perfect example.He was the NLCS and World Series MVP in 2011 and a career .280 hitter in the playoffs entering Monday. The 35-year-old is great to bring off the bench in pinch-hit situations.Dan Buffa buffa82David Freese is worth signing just for what he can do in October. Dude is the epitome of clutch.Bob Nightengale BNightengaleDavid Freese loves this time of year, delivers once again with 2-run single, for #Dodgers. Mr. ClutchThen you include the veterans who have been around for all or some of the Dodgers' previous five playoff appearances. That's one of the benefits of being a big-market franchise that can consistently maintain one of MLB's highest payrolls.Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals, and the Brewers will be calling upon those two to help navigate the franchise back to the Fall Classic.From top to bottom, though http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-hicks-jersey , the Dodgers are the stronger team and have been battled-tested together in the playoffs.Like the Braves, the Brewers might be headed for a year of heartbreak but have a good shot at making a World Series run over the next few seasons.What's Next?The Dodgers head to Miller Park for Game 1 of the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. The Brewers earned a series sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 6-0 win Sunday. Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesMilwaukee Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich is enjoying facing Cincinnati Reds pitching.A day after drilling two home runs in Tuesday's 9-7 loss, Yelich needed a mere seven innings Wednesday to hit for the cycle. The Brewers announced he is the eighth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat and the first to do so since 2011, when George Kottaras hit for the cycle against the Houston Astros.Milwaukee Brewers BrewersWith his triple in the 7th, ChristianYelich ties this game at 10 and becomes the first Brewers player to hit for the cycle since George Kottaras (9/3/11 at Houston). He is the 8th Brewers player to hit for the cycle. #ThisIsMyCrew atLiRrgnAEMLB MLBThe second CYCLE of 2018!Have a day, ChristianYelich! xrxj4DUCzhYelich singled in his first two at-bats and then went on a tear in the middle portion of Wednesday's contest by homering in the fifth, doubling in the sixth and tripling to tie the contest at 10 in the top of the seventh.It was more of the same for the first-time All-Star, who has helped carry the Brewers offense and has the team in position to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2011 campaign. He entered Wednesday's contest with a slash line of .310/.373/.545, and the long ball was his career-high 26th of the season."You try to improve every year, and you learn a lot about the game and yourself Aaron Judge Jersey ," he said of his impressive effort in his first year with the Brewers, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. "I think you're still learning, no matter how long you play this game. It's kind of a trial-by-fire-type deal."Milwaukee is 5.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and 1.5 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals for second place, but it is also in possession of the final wild-card spot in the league.If Yelich continues hitting like he has throughout the season, he will have the opportunity to impress in front of a national audience in October.