The Braves are going with left-hander A.J. Minter to start Game 5, which is likely more of an opener to a bullpen game.
Minter pitched once in this series, facing three batters in Game 2. He allowed a home run to Corey Seager, then got Justin Turner to fly out and struck out Max Muncy. During the regular season, Minter had a 0.83 ERA with 24 strikeouts and nine walks in 21⅔ innings. Only two of his 22 appearances were longer than one inning, recording five outs on August 30 and getting four outs on Sept. 10.
NLCS Game 5 lineups
|1B||Freeman (L)||SS||Seager (L)|
|LF||Markakis (L)||DH||Pederson (L)|
It’s been the left-handed Dodgers hitters driving the offense in the NLCS. Lefties have five of the top six OPS on the team, and are hitting .302/.438/.762 with eight home runs in 80 plate appearances.
Meanwhile the right-handers have been neutralized by Braves pitchers to the tune of .182/.250/.247 with one home run in 84 plate appearances.
Mookie Betts is 2-for-14 in the series, Will Smith is 2-for-16 (feel free to remember your favorite hard-hit out of his, if that helps), Chris Taylor is 1-for-11, and A.J. Pollock is 2-for-10.
Taylor and Pollock are back in the lineup after not starting in Game 4. Pollock also didn’t start in Game 3.
With those two back, the Dodgers have their usual eight starters again, plus Joc Pederson, who is 5-for-11 in the NLCS and 7-for-17 during the postseason. Pederson is the designated hitter on Friday.
Lefty-hitting Nick Markakis is back in the lineup for the Braves in left field, after not starting the last two games. Left-handed batters hit .247/.339/.454 against Dodgers starter Dustin May this season, compared to .198/.220/.302 for right-handers.
Austin Riley moves back from left field to third base, with Johan Camargo sitting for Atlanta.