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Corey Seager is having an NLCS to remember

Game 7 first pitch: 5:15 p.m. PT (Fox, FS1)

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National League Championship Series Game 6: Atlanta Braves v. Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We are down to just one game to decide the National League Championship Series, and not only will Game 7 on Sunday decide the NL participant in the World Series. It will also decide the MVP of the series, currently a race between two excellent candidates.

With the caveat that Braves rookie Ian Anderson, who starts Sunday, has yet to allow a run all postseason and could very well stake his claim to the NLCS MVP with a strong Game 7, this series award is most likely between two players.

Corey Seager homered on Saturday, after homering twice on Friday. He already has NLCS records with five home runs and 11 runs batted in, and is 9-for-24 (.375) with two doubles and a series-high eight runs scored. His five home runs in the NLCS are more than any other shortstop has ever hit in a postseason series.

Most home runs, 2020

Player Reg. season Post. Total HR
Player Reg. season Post. Total HR
Luke Voit 22 1 23
Corey Seager 15 6 21
Marcell Ozuna 18 3 21
Jose Abreu 19 1 20
Regular season and postseason combined

“You’re not worried about your own results, you’re worried about just not making the last out and winning a game that day,” Seager said. “That’s what we’re here to do.”

If the Dodgers win, Seager will almost certainly be the NLCS MVP, the latest chapter in a resurgent season for Seager, now healthy and even better than his dynamic first two seasons.

Seager has dramatically improved from his past Octobers, entering this year hitting just .203/.275/.331 in 31 games. This year, in 11 games, Seager is hitting .333/.396/.857 with more home runs (six) and RBI (15) than any Dodger ever in a single postseason.

“He’s not an over-worker anymore. He’s working more with a purpose, more efficient work,” manager Dave Roberts said of his shortstop. “Just understanding that at times they’re going to try to not throw strikes to him, because of how dangerous he is. He’s been as good in the zone this postseason by far than he’s ever been.”

Seager’s six home runs this postseason give him 21 on the season, tied for second-most in the majors behind only Luke Voit of the Yankees, who led MLB with 22 home runs during the regular season then added another homer in the ALDS.

On the Braves side, first baseman Freddie Freeman is probably the favorite for National League MVP, and in this series he’s 9-for-22 (.409) with two home runs and three doubles, driving in six.

“He hits left and right. He covers all quadrants, and speed. It’s tough,” Roberts said. “We’ve pitched him well at times. When we do make mistakes, he’s made us pay. That’s what you get when you’re talking about an MVP-caliber player.”

Marcell Ozuna could conceivably claim the series MVP with a strong Game 7, entering Sunday hitting .280/.333/.600 with two home runs and two doubles. Ozuna, who led the NL with 18 home runs during the regular season, is tied with Seager with 21 total home runs, including the postseason.

But Freeman’s the frontrunner for now, should Atlanta win.

It will be decided on the field Sunday night.

NLCS Game 7 info

  • Time: 5:15 p.m. PT
  • Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas
  • TV: Fox and FS1 (Joe Davis, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal)
  • Streaming: Fox Sports, fuboTV