NLDS Game 3 Preview: Walker Buehler Makes 1st Career Postseason Start As Dodgers Go For Sweep Over Braves
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting a 2-0 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers can advance to their third consecutive NL Championship Series with a victory at SunTrust Park on Sunday.


Walker Buehler gets the nod for his first career postseason start. He was dominant in last Monday’s Game 163 tiebreaker against the Colorado Rockies, yielding only one hit in 6.2 shutout innings pitched.

Buehler concluded his rookie campaign with an 8-5 record during the regular season, compiling a 2.62 ERA, 3.04 FIP and 0.96 WHIP in 137.1 innings (24 games, 23 starts).

Dating back to Sept. 14, Buehler has only allowed two runs in his last 26.2 innings of work — good for a minuscule 0.67 ERA. Over that span of four starts, he’s struck out 29 batters compared to issuing just eight walks.

In one career start against the Braves earlier this season at Dodger Stadium, Buehler earned a win after yielding only two hits and one run across 5.1 innings pitched.

Looking to prolong their season, the Braves send Sean Newcomb to the mound rather than Kevin Gausman. The left-hander starts on three days rest after logging two scoreless innings of relief in Game 1.

Newcomb enjoyed a solid 2018 campaign, going 12-9 with a 3.90 ERA, 4.14 FIP and 1.33 WHIP in 164 innings pitched (31 games, 30 starts). He faced the Dodgers twice during the regular season, allowing six runs in 14 innings pitched (3.86 ERA).

Newcomb flirted with a no-hitter in his most recent start against Los Angeles on July 29, coming within one out of accomplishing the feat before Chris Taylor tallied the Dodgers’ first base knock with two outs in the ninth. He wound up logging 8.2 innings in the contest, yielding only two baserunners and one run en route to his 10th win of the year.

With the left-hander on the mound, Chris Taylor moves into the leadoff spot for the Dodgers. He is 5-for-12 with a home run and slashed .345/.433/.586 with three home runs in the month of September.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Chris Taylor
3B: Justin Turner
1B: David Freese
SS: Manny Machado
RF: Matt Kemp
CF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Yasmani Grandal
P: Walker Buehler

Braves lineup:

LF: Ronald Acuña Jr.
CF: Ender Inciarte
1B: Freddie Freeman
RF: Nick Markakis
3B: Johan Camargo
C: Kurt Suzuki
2B: Ozzie Albies
SS: Charlie Culberson
P: Sean Newcomb

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