ATLANTA -- While the Braves might have gained an early series lead in this year’s National League Championship Series, the defending World Series champion Dodgers have confidence, as they have their top three starting pitchers lined up for the next three games.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 2 starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 PT on Sunday at Truist Park, and it will be televised on TBS. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What are the starting lineups?
Dodgers: After going with seven right-handed bats against lefty Max Fried in Game 1, the Dodgers went back to their most productive lineup, inserting Gavin Lux and Cody Bellinger in center field and at first base respectively. Chris Taylor got the start at third base over Justin Turner, who was out with a "neck stinger," per manager Dave Roberts.
- Mookie Betts, RF
- Corey Seager, SS
- Trea Turner, 2B
- Will Smith, C
- Gavin Lux, CF
- Chris Taylor, 3B
- Cody Bellinger, 1B
- AJ Pollock, LF
- Max Scherzer, P
Braves: Freddie Freeman has hit .234 with three homers and an .838 OPS in 55 career plate appearances against Scherzer. Dansby Swanson, Joc Pederson and Ozzie Albies are the only other current Braves to have at least 28 plate appearances against the veteran hurler. Each of them has a sub-.600 OPS against him.
- Eddie Rosario, LF
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Austin Riley, 3B
- Joc Pederson, RF
- Adam Duvall, CF
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Ian Anderson, SP
Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Scherzer (15-4, 2.46 ERA) will start Game 2 after earning the save and throwing 13 pitches in Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Giants on Thursday. The decision to start Scherzer in Game 2 rather than Game 1 allows the right-hander to be at full strength.
Braves: Anderson (9-5, 3.58 ERA) will be starting Game 2 of the NLCS for a second straight season. Anderson has produced a scoreless performance in four of his five career playoff starts. The 23-year-old had completed 17 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings before finally surrendering his first playoff runs in the third inning of Game 7 of last year’s NLCS against the Dodgers.
The Braves opted to go with Anderson to allow Charlie Morton to enter Tuesday’s Game 3 start in Los Angeles with a couple extra days of rest. Morton was on short rest when he started Game 4 of the NLDS against the Brewers last Tuesday.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: Roberts will ask Scherzer to go as long as he can, but the bullpen should be in good shape despite the team using eight pitchers in Game 1. Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen should be fully available to pitch in the late innings.
Braves: Right-hander Jacob Webb and left-hander A.J. Minter have been used to bridge the gap to the seventh inning most frequently. But lefty Tyler Matzek has been given a chance to handle a majority of the high-leverage situations in the seventh or eighth. Luke Jackson has been the primary setup man for closer Will Smith.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: With Monday’s off-day looming, the Dodgers should have everyone available.
Braves: Manager Brian Snitker's bullpen should be at full strength. Drew Smyly and Huascar Ynoa are two relief options who could provide length if needed.
Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: Max Muncy (left elbow) and Clayton Kershaw (left elbow) are not on the team’s NLCS roster and will be unavailable. Muncy is hopeful he can return if the Dodgers advance to the World Series. Kershaw is out for the season.
Braves: Jorge Soler could miss all or a significant portion of the NLCS. He was placed on the COVID-19 injured list prior to Game 4 of the NLDS, and he will likely remain there for at least 10 days.
Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: Will Smith continues to solidify himself as one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, smacking his third homer of the postseason in Game 1 against the Braves. He’s 7-for-25 with a 1.099 OPS in the postseason.
On the other hand, Justin Turner continued to struggle at the plate, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 1. In seven postseason games, Turner is 3-for-28 with one homer.
Braves: Riley has gone 7-for-19 with two homers during the postseason, including one on Saturday. Freeman tallied three hits in Game 4 of the NLDS, including the series-deciding home run, but he struck out in each of his four plate appearances on Saturday. Travis d’Arnaud is 2-for-15 with eight strikeouts during the playoffs.
Anything else fans might want to know?
In best-of-seven postseason series with the current 2-3-2 format, teams winning Game 1 at home have gone on to win the series 62 of 94 times (66%). This excludes 2020, when the LCS and World Series were played at neutral sites.