The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to repeat history by winning Game 3, 5, 6 and 7 of the National League Championship Series over the Atlanta Braves.
They have already checked off the first two of those at Dodger Stadium, but now they return to Atlanta for a Game 6 and hope to force a winner-take-all scenario.
L.A. must-win Game 6 to stay alive in the postseason, and so far, they have been quite successful at it as they have won seven straight elimination games.
“I think we’ve got a mental advantage right now, getting back on that plane and going back there playing Game 6,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about a potential repeat of the 2020 NLCS.
“History’s a powerful thing to the mind and so we feel good and I think that we’re going to use it to our advantage. Bt at the end of the day we still got to go out there and play a good baseball game.
With their season on the line, the Dodgers hand the ball to Walker Buehler on short rest for a second time. Prior to this October the right-hander had never started without at least traditional rest.
Max Scherzer was aligned to start Game 6 but is still dealing with right arm fatigue. With Buehler bumped up, it’s plausible Scherzer would be available if the Dodgers can force a Game 7.
Buehler pitched just 3.2 innings earlier this week, which in some sense was a result of Gavin Lux dropping a fly ball in center field and a missed strike three call against Joc Pederson.
Ian Anderson, who last started Game 2 and had a short outing, takes the mound for the Braves as they try to reach the World Series for the first time since 1999.
Anderson threw three innings, which was his shortest career postseason outing, on 55 pitches while allowing two runs.
This season Anderson posted a 3.58 ERA and 4.12 FIP in 128.1 innings with a 1.9 WAR while striking out 23.2% of hitters and walking 9.9%.
Anderson has struggled early before settling down, posting a 6.38 ERA in the first inning this year. The Dodgers will need to score early to set the tone of the game and get to the Braves bullpen, which is a weakness of their team.
After losing Justin Turner to an injury in Game 4, the Dodgers had another injury in Game 5 as Joe Kelly was forced to leave early because of a right biceps strain.
Kelly was replaced on the roster by David Price, while Turner was replaced by Andy Burns. Both Turner and Kelly will be ineligible to play in the World Series if the Dodgers advance.
Cody Bellinger is back in center field, with Matt Beaty joining the Dodgers lineup to start at first base.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
2B: Trea Turner
C: Will Smith
3B: Chris Taylor
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
1B: Matt Beaty
P: Walker Buehler
LF: Eddie Rosario
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Ozzie Albies
3B: Austin Riley
CF: Adam Duvall
RF: Joc Pederson
SS: Dansby Swanson
C: Travis d’Araud
P: Ian Anderson
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