Braves: NLDS Game 4 Preview

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After an exhilarating win yesterday, the Braves look to put the Brewers away in Game 4 by throwing Charlie Morton on short rest. Milwaukee will go to Eric Lauer as they try and force a Game 5.

The Starters

Charlie Morton:
Season:

33 Starts; 14-6

3.34 ERA

1.045 WHIP

3.72 SO/W

Postseason:

14 Games (13 Starts);

7-4 3.34 ERA

1.158 WHIP

3.30 SO/W

Eric Lauer
Season

24 Games (20 Starts); 7-5

3.19 ERA

1.138 WHIP

2.85 SO/W

Postseason

No postseason experience

 

After Game 3, there was a discussion for both teams as to who would pitch in Game 4. The options for Atlanta were Huascar Ynoa, Drew Smyly, or Charlie Morton on short rest. Based on when they released their decision, I believe they had a conversation with Morton and waited to see how he was feeling before deciding. On Friday, Morton went 6+ innings,  allowing 3 hits, a walk, 9 strikeouts, and 2 earned runs, which came off a home run from Rowdy Tellez.

Before that home run, Morton was mowing down the Brewers. Given he is pitching on short rest, I would not be surprised if he only went one or two times through the order, based on his pitch count and efficiency. If he runs into any trouble, Ynoa and Smyly will most likely be waiting in the bullpen to come in and pitch a couple of innings.

For the Brewers, some thought that Corbin Burnes would pitch on short rest in a potential elimination game, but manager Craig Counsell put that to rest after Game 3. They also burned through their usual 4th starter in Adrian Houser, who pitched two innings in Game 1, and one in Game 3, giving up a homer to Joc Pederson in both appearances.

Counsell and his staff decided to go with Eric Lauer, who has never pitched in the postseason before today. He was very good this year, shown by his 3.19 ERA. However, it has been a couple of weeks since he last made a start — October 1st to be exact.

The Bullpens

As I stated before, Huascar Ynoa and Drew Smyly will probably be prepared to provide multiple innings for the Braves if needed today. I had initially predicted that Tyler Matzek and Luke Jackson would be down for Game 3, so of course, both of them pitched an inning of work. I still think they will have the day off today as they have pitched in every game of the series. Everyone else should be good to go.

The Brewers used several of their arms yesterday, with Houser, Strickland, Boxberger, and Cousins all receiving an inning of work. Given this is an elimination game for them, I would imagine all hands will be on deck as they try and get the series back to Milwaukee.

The Lineups

Brian Snitker and the rest of the coaching staff have finally heard our cries as Joc Pederson will start in left field and bat 6th for the Braves today. For those wondering why they decided to start him against a lefty, Pederson is actually hitting better against lefties this year, with a .265/.230 BA split. Everything else in the lineup is the same as it has been.

For the Brewers, I expect more lineup shuffling as they have not scored a run since the 7th inning of Game 1.

Braves:

(ex: Player: BA/OBP/SLG; OPS; HR; RBI; SB; Career vs Morton/Burnes)

Jorge Soler: .223/.316/.432; .749 OPS; 27 HR; 70 RBI; 0-2

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

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

Austin Riley: .303/.367/.531; .898 OPS; 33 HR; 107 RBI; 0-1 K

Adam Duvall: .228/.281/.491; .772 OPS; 38 HR; 113 RBI; 5 SB; 0-3 2K

Joc Pederson: .238/.310/.422; .732 OPS; 18 HR; 61 RBI; 2 SB; 1-2

Travis d’Arnaud: .220/.284/.388; .671 OPS; 7 HR; 26 RBI

Dansby Swanson: .248/.311/.449: .760 OPS; 27 HR; 88 RBI; 9 SB; 0-1 K

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

Bench:

Eddie Rosario: .259/.305/.435; .740 OPS; 14 HR; 62 RBI; 11 SB; 1-3

Guillermo Heredia: .220/.311/.354; .665 OPS; 5 HR; 26 RBI; 1-3 2B

Ehire Adrianza: .247/.327/.401; .728 OPS; 5 HR; 28 RBI; 0-2 2K

William Contreras: .215/.303/.399; .701 OPS; 8 HR; 23 RBI; 0-1

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

Terrance Gore: (AAA) .232/.361/.319; .680 OPS; RBI; 18 SB

Brewers:

Kolten Wong: .272/.335/.447; .783 OPS; 14 HR; 50 RBI; 12 SB; 0-7 2BB 3K

Willy Adames: .262/.337/.481; .818 OPS; 25 HR; 73 RBI; 5 SB; 1-12 HR RBI 6K

Christian Yelich: .248/.362/.373; .736 OPS; 9 HR; 51 RBI; 9 SB; 6-18 4K

Avisail Garcia: .262/.330/.490; .820 OPS; 29 HR; 86 RBI; 8 SB; 0-7 RBI HBP K

Rowdy Tellez: .272/.333/.481; .814 OPS; 7 HR; 28 RBI; 2-9 HR 3RBI 3K

Luis Urías: .249/.345/.445; .789 OPS; 23 HR; 75 RBI; 5 SB; 1-2

Omar Narvaez: .266/.342/.402; .743 OPS; 11 HR; 49 RBI; 4-13 2B HR 4RBI 3K

Lorenzo Cain: .257/.329/.401; .729 OPS; 8 HR; 36 RBI; 13 SB; 3-7 2B K

Eric Lauer: .154/.258/.269; .527 OPS; HR; 4 RBI

Bench:

Jace Peterson: .247/.348/.367; .714 OPS; 6 HR; 31 RBI; 10 SB; 2-4 2B 3RBI

Eduardo Escobar: .253/.314/.472; .786 OPS; 28 HR; 90 RBI; SB; 1-11 BB 5K

Daniel Vogelbach: .219/.349/.381; .730 OPS; 9 HR; 24 RBI; 1-6 2BB 2K

Manny Piña: .189/.293/.439; .732 OPS; 13 HR; 33 RBI

Tyrone Taylor: .247/.321/.457; .778 OPS; 12 HR; 43 RBI; 6 SB; 0-3 K

Luke Maile: .300/.382/.433; .816 OPS; 3 RBI

 

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