The Dodgers and Astros are set to play Game 1 of the National League Championship Series tonight, with Max Muncy injured. What can we expect from this game?
Max Muncy is the Dodgers’ top slugger and was supposed to be a key part of their lineup. The injury update on Muncy will be released soon, but he has been placed on the 10-day disabled list.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Dodgers will play the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS for the second year in a row after a hard-fought National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants.
With a dramatic 2-1 win in Game 5 of the NLDS in San Francisco on Thursday night, Los Angeles punched its ticket to the NLCS. Los Angeles took the lead in the ninth inning on Cody Bellinger’s RBI single, setting the door for Max Scherzer to close out the game in the bottom half.
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After coming back from behind twice this playoffs, once in the NL Wild Card game and again in the NLDS, the Dodgers (106-56) will try to build on that momentum.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 14: Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Scherzer #31 throws against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning of game 5 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California on October 14, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson)
For Game 1, the Blue Jays are anticipated to give the ball to Scherzer once again. According to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, Scherzer will play catch on Saturday and if he feels well enough to throw, he will start Game 1 for Los Angeles.
The Braves, on the other hand, come into the series having come back from a 1-0 series deficit against the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS by winning three consecutive games, including two shutout wins.
The Braves’ Situation
Atlanta won the NL East division with an 88-73 overall record despite losing All-Star outfielder Ronald Acua Jr. to a ruptured ACL injury in July. Despite having the poorest record of any postseason club, the Braves have home-field advantage and a good chance of making it to the World Series.
In Game 1, the Braves will start left-hander Max Fried (14-7, 3.04 ERA). In five starts versus the Dodgers, the Harvard Westlake product is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA and 29 strikeouts.
First baseman Freddie Freeman is the driving force behind Atlanta’s offense. In 159 games for the Braves this season, the reigning NL MVP hit.300 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI.
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In Game 4 of the NLDS, Freeman blasted a go-ahead homerun off Brewers reliever Josh Hader to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Atlanta won the series against Milwaukee thanks to Freeman’s home run.
Former Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson is producing for the Braves alongside Freeman. Pederson, who was acquired by Atlanta in a July deal with the Chicago Cubs, is proving to Braves fans why he was given the moniker “Joctober” last season. In the NLDS, Pederson hit two home runs for the Braves, including a pinch-hit three-run homer in Game 3.
Furthermore, Los Angeles defeated Atlanta 4-2 in the regular season series. However, manager Dave Roberts understands the Dodgers will face an extra-motivated squad on Saturday after overcoming a 3-1 series hole against the Braves last year.
“Whether you call it a chance or redemption, it’s definitely on their minds,” Roberts said. “We saw a lot of the same players against this team last year.”
The first pitch for Game 1 will be at 5:08 p.m. pacific time, and it will be broadcast on TBS.
Schedule for the National League Championship Series:
1st game vs. ATL — 10/16, 5:08 p.m. Gm 2 PT vs. ATL — 10/17, 4:38 p.m. PT Gm 3 vs. LA — Tuesday, October 19th, 2:08 p.m. PT Game 4 vs. LA — October 20th, 5:08 p.m. Gm 5 PT vs. LA — 10/21, 5:08 p.m. PT Gm 6 vs. ATL — October 23, 2:08 p.m. *PT (5:08 if ALCS over) Gm 7 vs. ATL — October 24, 4:38 p.m. PT
October 16, 2021 — Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider)
This will be the sixth meeting between these two teams in the playoffs. The Dodgers hold a 3-1 lead in the series.
Max Muncy is expected to contribute at some point throughout this series for the Dodgers. In the last game of the regular season, Muncy sustained an elbow laceration. Despite his ability to swing a bat, Muncy is unlikely to be in the starting lineup anytime soon.
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“It’s definitely something we need to examine if he thinks he can do anything at any time in the series,” Roberts added. “It’s still improbable, but we’re hoping as hard as we can.”
The 2020 nlcs is a question that has been asked by many people. It is unsure whether or not the MLB will extend the regular season to accommodate for the World Series.
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