NLCS Game 7 lineups
|RF||Yelich (L)||1B||Muncy (L)|
Leading off for LA will be Joc Pederson. The Dodgers have moved around different players in the leadoff spot this series, but will ultimately go with Joc’s bat against the righty. Pederson set the Dodgers record for most leadoff homers in a season with eight, hitting .309 with an OPS of 1.174 as the first hitter of the game for his team.
The top six spots in the order remain the same. The changes that matter come in the seventh and eighth spot. Chris Taylor will hit seventh and play second base, while Austin Barnes will get the start at catcher.
This comes as a surprise, as Barnes hit .151 against righties this year, where as Yasmani Grandal hit .252. But Grandal has struggled mightily in this series to overcome mental errors and poor glove work. Also, take this for what its worth, but Walker Buehler has a 1.94 ERA with Grandal behind the plate, as opposed to a 4.99 ERA with Barnes behind the plate.
Taylor makes his first start at second base in the NLCS, although it will be his fifth game in the series that he’ll play the position. The Dodgers like his at-bats in this series and much like Barnes, they’re going with the lineup they feel gives them the best chance to win.
When Buehler takes the mound, he’ll make a bit of history. He’ll become the second rookie pitcher to ever start a game 7 in a championship series, dating back to 1985 when the series was expanded to seven games. He’ll also become the 10th rookie to start in a game 7 in postseason history, dating back to 1903.
According to STATS, LLC, Buehler will become just the third Dodger rookie to start a winner-take-all game, joining Joe Black (Game 7 1952 World Series vs. NYY) and Fernando Valenzuela (Game 5 1981 NLCS at MON). The last rookie to start a Game 7 in the Major Leagues was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who took the hill for the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS vs. Cleveland.
Buehler is also the youngest pitcher to start an NLCS Game 7 ever at 24 years and 84 days, beating John Smoltz from 1991 (24 years, 155 days)