A pair of thrilling games last night set the stage for today’s continuation of the ALCS and NLCS.
Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers (ATL leads 2-1)
Julio Urías is scheduled to get the start for L.A. three days after his inning of relief in Game 2. It will be his fourth appearance in 12 days, but Dave Roberts, of course, has perfect faith in his starter. The Dodgers’ offense, meanwhile, is coming off of an adrenaline rush of a win. Cody Bellinger’s three-run homer in the eighth inning tied up the game and brought the Dodgers back to life after they gave up the lead to Atlanta in the fourth, and the boys in blue notched a total of 10 hits in the game.
The Braves, meanwhile, will opt for a bullpen game tonight. They’ve historically struggled at Dodger Stadium, with a record of 4-21 at the ravine in their last 25 games there, and manager Brian Snitker may hope to alleviate some of the stress by asking Drew Smyly (4.48 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) or Jesse Chavez (2.14 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) to take on multiple innings. Tyler Matzek, who hasn’t given up a run this postseason, could also see some action.
“It’s just kind of been coincidence, I guess, how the games have went,” Snitker said before Tuesday’s game. “I really can’t put my finger on any one thing because we did some really good things in that time, just couldn’t finish a game off.”
Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox (Series tied 2-2)
The Red Sox are the first team since the 1998 Braves to hit three grand slams in a postseason and the first ever to do so in a single series, according to ESPN, with a franchise-tying record of 20 total homers in the postseason so far. All that power wasn’t enough to stave off the Astros, though, who broke a 2-2 tie in a seven-run ninth inning for the win.
Manager Alex Cora will hope for better defense on the field and a strong start from Chris Sale, who avoided a relief appearance last night, in Game 5 tonight. Sale gave up just five hits and one run in his last start against the Astros, a welcome difference from the five-run inning he pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this postseason.
The Astros’ starter remains to be determined. Their pitching has left something to be desired as of late, but with an offense that logged 12 hits compared to Boston’s three last night, they may be able to rely on more consistent run support for backup.
2:08 p.m. PT: Astros (TBD) @ Red Sox (Chris Sale) (FS1)
5:08 p.m. PT: Braves (TBD) @ Dodgers (Julio Urías) (TBS)