After narrowly avoiding a series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers now welcome Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals to Dodger Stadium for a potential National League Championship Series preview.
The teams share plenty of postseason history, but adding to it this year would require the Cardinals to pull off upsets in both the Wild Card round and NL Division Series. For the time being that’s secondary to Pujols chasing MLB history of 700 career home runs.
He enters the weekend at 698 homers and figuring to receive plenty of opportunities as the Dodgers have Andrew Heaney, Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson starting the games.
Pujols is batting .352/.403/.741 with six doubles, 12 home runs and 28 RBI over 124 plate appearances against lefties this season, his last before retiring. However, Pujols is yet to face Heaney in his career.
Heaney is coming off a shortened outing that was interrupted by a rain delay but one in which he snapped a streak of allowing at least one home run at five consecutive starts.
Even with the recent long ball troubles, Heaney has still been plenty effective when healthy in his first season with the Dodgers. He’s pitched to 2.66 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, and has at least six strikeouts in six consecutive starts.
The Cardinals counter with José Quintana, who twice faced the Dodgers this season as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 1-0 and allowed a combined two runs in those outings.
Overall this season, Quintana is 5-6 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 29 starts.
Freddie Freeman is out of the Dodgers lineup for only a second time this season.
Dodgers stream on Apple TV+
The series opener at Dodger Stadium is exclusively streaming on Apple TV+ as part of their “Friday Night Baseball” programming.
Fans can stream the Dodgers for free by launching the Apple TV app and selecting the broadcast; or from the MLB.TV app, choosing the “Friday Night Baseball” game to then be redirected (where available); or by visiting https://tv.apple.com/ to log in or create an Apple ID.
An Apple ID, but not a paid subscription, is required to watch the Dodgers on Apple TV+.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Trea Turner
C: Will Smith
DH: Justin Turner
3B: Max Muncy
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Trayce Thompson
1B: Miguel Vargas
2B: Hanser Alberto
SS: Tommy Edman
DH: Albert Pujols
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
3B: Nolan Arenado
LF: Juan Yepez
CF: Dylan Carlson
RF: Lars Nootbaar
C: Andrew Knizner
2B: Brendan Donovan
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