Braves: NLCS Game 3 Preview

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After another walk-off win from the Braves, they aim to take a 3-0 lead in the series tonight as they face the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Atlanta will throw Charlie Morton, who has a full week of rest, while the Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler.

The Starters

Charlie Morton:
Season:

33 Starts; 14-6

3.34 ERA

1.045 WHIP

3.72 SO/W

Postseason:

15 Games (14 Starts); 7-4

3.44 ERA

1.175 WHIP

3.38 SO/W

Walker Buehler:
Season:

33 Starts; 16-4

2.47 ERA

0.968 WHIP

4.08 SO/W

Postseason:

13 Starts; 3-2

2.50 ERA

1.014 WHIP

3.68 SO/W

After starting in the NLDS finale on short rest, Charlie Morton was given six days off to recover and get ready for tonight’s Game 3 in Los Angeles. Though he wasn’t as sharp in his last start against the Brewers, going 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on four hits, he did enough for the Braves to win, which has been a common theme with the starting pitching lately.

Max Fried and Ian Anderson both did not looked like their usual selves in this series but pitched well enough to give the Braves a chance to win. If Morton can do that and provide a couple more innings, then Atlanta fans should be hopeful for tonight’s contest. Charlie has faced the Dodgers twice this season, only giving up a combined three earned runs.

For the Dodgers, they will trot out Walker Buehler, who had a Cy Young caliber season. He’s been phenomenal all year, leading to a 2.05 ERA going into September. However, in his last six starts, Buehler posted an ERA of 4.83. Hopefully, that’s the man the Braves see on Tuesday night.

Buehler was good but not great in the NLDS against the Giants, surrendering four earned runs over 10.2 innings in his two starts against them. With that being said, he has fared quite well against the Braves in his young career, boasting a 2.79 ERA, including a seven inning outing in which he gave up just two earned runs on four hits and two walks this season.

The Bullpens

Braves:
Regular Season:

3.97 ERA

1.320 WHIP

.241 AVG

Postseason:

1.52 ERA

1.180 WHIP

.177 AVG

Dodgers:
Regular Season:

3.16 ERA

1.190 WHIP

.205 AVG

Postseason:

1.44 ERA

0.790 WHIP

.193 AVG

In a surprising turn of events, the Braves have had the best bullpen in the postseason. Even after Ian Anderson only went three innings Sunday night, the relievers gave up two runs in six innings of work. Those runs were charged to Tyler Matzek after he left some traffic on the basepaths for Luke Jackson to try and clean up. Jackson proceeded to hit his first batter on the second pitch of the at-bat and give up a soft line drive to Chris Taylor.

For the Dodgers, the bullpen was probably their greatest advantage over the Braves coming into the series. However, Atlanta’s offense has hit even the best LA has to offer, with Austin Riley walking off Blake Treinen and Eddie Rosario doing the same to Kenley Jansen. It hasn’t seemed to matter who is on the mound for the Dodgers; the Braves have put together good at-bats against everyone.

The Lineups

Braves:

Eddie Rosario: .259/.305/.435; .740 OPS; 14 HR; 62 RBI; 11 SB

Freddie Freeman: .300/.393/.503; .896 OPS; 31 HR; 83 RBI; 8 SB; 1-8 HR 2RBI 2K SB

Ozzie Albies: .259/.310/.488; .799 OPS; 30 HR; 106 RBI; 20 SB; 1-7 K

Austin Riley: .303/.367/.531; .898 OPS; 33 HR; 107 RBI; 2-3 K

Joc Pederson: .238/.310/.422; .732 OPS; 18 HR; 61 RBI; 2 SB; 2-8 HR RBI BB 2K

Adam Duvall: .228/.281/.491; .772 OPS; 38 HR; 113 RBI; 5 SB; 1-9 4K SB

Travis d’Arnaud: .220/.284/.388; .671 OPS; 7 HR; 26 RBI; 1-3 2B RBI

Dansby Swanson: .248/.311/.449: .760 OPS; 27 HR; 88 RBI; 9 SB; 1-7 BB

Charlie Morton: .127/.127/.145; .273 OPS; 1 RBI; 0-1 K

Bench:

Cristian Pache: .111/.152/.206; .358 OPS; 1 HR; 4 RBI

Guillermo Heredia: .220/.311/.354; .665 OPS; 5 HR; 26 RBI; 0-1 K

Ehire Adrianza: .247/.327/.401; .728 OPS; 5 HR; 28 RBI; 0-1

William Contreras: .215/.303/.399; .701 OPS; 8 HR; 23 RBI

Orlando Arcia: .198/.258/.309; .567 OPS; 2 HR; 14 RBI; SB; 0-2 K

Johan Camargo: (AAA) .326/.401/.557; .958 OPS; 19 HR; 67 RBI; 0-1 K

Dodgers:

Mookie Betts: .264/.367/.487; .854 OPS; 23 HR; 58 RBI; 10 SB; 7-24 2 2B HR RBI 4BB K

Corey Seager: .306/.394/.521; .915 OPS; 16 HR; 57 RBI; 1 SB; 0-2 BB K

Trea Turner: .328/.375/.536; .911 OPS; 28 HR; 77 RBI; 32 SB: 1-9 RBI 5K

Will Smith: .258/.365/.495; .860 OPS; 25 HR; 76 RBI; 3 SB; 0-2 K

Justin Turner: .278/.361/.471; .832 OPS; 27 HR; 87 RBI; 3 SB; 4-10 2B 2RBI BB K

Gavin Lux: .242/.328/.364; .692 OPS; 7 HR; 46 HR; 4 SB; 1-2

Cody Bellinger: .165/.240/.302; .542 OPS; 10 HR; 36 RBI; 3 SB; 1-5

Chris Taylor: .254/.344/.438; .782 OPS; 20 HR; 73 RBI; 13 SB; 1-3 K SB

Walker Buehler:  .101/.162/.130; .293 OPS; 3 RBI; 0-2 2K

Bench:

A.J. Pollock: .297/.355/.536; .892 OPS; 21 HR; 69 RBI; 9 SB; 0-11 RBI BB 2K

Austin Barnes: .215/.299/.345; .644 OPS; 6 HR; 23 RBI; 1 SB; 0-2 K

Albert Pujols: .236/.284/.433; .717 OPS; 17 HR; 50 RBI; 2 SB; 8-33 3 2B 5 RBI 5BB 2K 2SB

Steven Souza Jr.: .152/.222/.333; .556 OPS; 1 HR; 3 RBI; 2-9 2B 2K

Matt Beaty: .270/.363/.402; .765 OPS; 7 HR; 40 RBI; 2 SB; 1-2 RBI

The Braves will most likely stick with the same lineup. Eddie Rosario is hot, coming off a 4-5 night with four singles, including the walk-off. It’s still Joctober, especially back in Los Angeles. The only piece not clicking in the lineup surprisingly is Freddie Freeman. Since hitting the series-winning home run against the Brewers, he is 0-8 with seven strikeouts. Fortunately, the rest of the team is picking up the slack, but the Braves need Freddie to get hot in order to put this series away early.

For the Dodgers, Justin Turner is expected to be back at third base after being held out of the lineup in Game 2 with neck soreness, but the rest should stay the same.

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