But the defending champs' quest to stage another remarkable comeback against Atlanta won't come easily. Ace right-hander Max Scherzer was originally scheduled to take the mound for Game 6 on Saturday, but he was scratched from the start with less than 24 hours to first pitch due to arm fatigue. The Dodgers announced on Saturday morning that Walker Buehler will take his place on short rest, while rookie Ian Anderson will start for Atlanta.
Atlanta won the first two games of this series at Truist Park and Los Angeles took two of three games at Dodger Stadium. The Braves will attempt to avoid squandering a 3-1 NLCS lead to the Dodgers for a second straight year.
Here is a look at what you need to know for Game 6:
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 6 is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT. TBS will broadcast the game. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What are the starting lineups?
Dodgers: Los Angeles’ offense erupted for 11 runs in Game 5 and will look to carry that momentum into Game 6. Beyond flipping Trea Turner and Corey Seager in the order, the Dodgers are starting lefty-hitting Matt Beaty at first base against a right-handed pitcher, sending Albert Pujols to the bench after his two-hit performance. Chris Taylor also gets bumped up to the No. 5 spot from seventh following his historic three-homer effort in Game 5.
Braves: Eddie Rosario and Freddie Freeman have been hot at the plate and look to set the tone at the top of the lineup. The Braves activated Jorge Soler from the COVID-19 injured list on Thursday, but he wasn't in the lineup for Game 6 and likely wouldn’t return to it until the World Series -- should they advance -- during which he could be used as a designated hitter in games played at the American League ballpark.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: The Dodgers pitched Buehler on three days’ rest in the NLDS, but it was unknown whether they’d be comfortable doing so again after he started Game 3 on Tuesday. In what was his first career start on short rest, Buehler allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings against the Giants.
Braves: Ian Anderson has produced a scoreless outing in four of his first six career postseason appearances. Three of his six starts have come against the Dodgers, who tallied two runs in three innings against him in Game 2. The rookie hurler’s success is often significantly influenced by the effectiveness of his changeup.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: Unless they are called on to pitch early if Buehler is unable to get very far, Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen are likely to be used late in the game by manager Dave Roberts.
Braves: Having suffered a lopsided loss in Game 5 ahead of Friday’s off-day, the Braves’ bullpen will be at full strength. Tyler Matzek should certainly benefit from a couple days of rest. He had pitched in each of the team’s eight postseason games before Thursday. Matzek and Luke Jackson serve as the top setup men for closer Will Smith. Lefty A.J. Minter is another high-leverage option who could record outs within the last few innings.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: With the Dodgers facing elimination once again, they’ll have all hands on deck.
Braves: Everyone is available.
Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: Scherzer (arm fatigue) is the key loss for Game 6, and should the Dodgers force a Game 7 on Sunday or advance to the World Series, his status beyond Saturday is unclear. 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 for a potential World Series; Kershaw is out for the season. Justin Turner, who was removed from the NLCS roster with a Grade 2 left hamstring strain, is also out for the remainder of the postseason.
Right-hander Joe Kelly, who left Game 5 with a right bicep injury, will be removed from the roster, ending his season. Left-hander David Price will take his spot. Rookie reliever Justin Bruihl is also dealing with arm soreness and could be forced to miss a few games. The Dodgers brought an extra arm to Atlanta in case Bruihl can’t suit up.
Braves: Right-handed reliever Huascar Ynoa will miss the rest of the season with right shoulder inflammation.
Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: Chris Taylor’s three-homer game was the exclamation point to what has been a terrific October for the utility man. With a 4-for-5 performance in Game 5, Taylor is now hitting .364 with four homers and 12 RBIs this postseason. AJ Pollock is trying to catch up to Taylor, hitting .290 with two homers.
On the other hand, star shortstop Corey Seager hasn’t found much consistency at the plate, hitting .205 with two homers in 11 postseason games.
Braves: Rosario has hit .471 with a 1.249 OPS through nine postseason games. Freeman is 6-for-12 with two homers and one double over his past three games … Travis d’Arnaud is 5-for-28 with 11 strikeouts during the postseason.
Anything else fans might want to know?
Of the 45 previous teams to have won Game 5 after trailing a best-of-seven series 3-1, 20 then forced a Game 7 (44%). Of those 20, 14 (70%) completed the comeback and won the series.