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Dodgers-Brewers G6: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy and @kengurnick

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers can clinch their second consecutive National League championship on Friday with a win over the Brewers in Game 6 at Miller Park. The last time Los Angeles won back-to-back pennants was 1977-78. Milwaukee will be looking to force a Game 7 and keep its hopes alive for a first pennant in 36 years.

Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for L.A. against fellow southpaw Wade Miley, who faced one batter in Game 5 as a decoy starter to influence the Dodgers' lineup construction. Miley will become only the fourth pitcher to start consecutive postseason games.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers can clinch their second consecutive National League championship on Friday with a win over the Brewers in Game 6 at Miller Park. The last time Los Angeles won back-to-back pennants was 1977-78. Milwaukee will be looking to force a Game 7 and keep its hopes alive for a first pennant in 36 years.

Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for L.A. against fellow southpaw Wade Miley, who faced one batter in Game 5 as a decoy starter to influence the Dodgers' lineup construction. Miley will become only the fourth pitcher to start consecutive postseason games.

View Full Game Coverage

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 6: Tonight, 8:39 ET on FS1

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

The teams split the first two games of the series in Milwaukee, and the Dodgers won two of three at Dodger Stadium to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

What might the starting lineups look like?
Dodgers: It's easier to hit the winning lotto numbers than to guess Dave Roberts' daily lineup, but given that it's the same opposing starter for a second straight game, we might have some idea. Here goes:

1. Cody Bellinger, CF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. David Freese, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Max Muncy, 2B
6. Chris Taylor, LF
7. Yasiel Puig, RF
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu, P

Brewers: With the offense continuing to sputter, will Craig Counsell consider any changes to this lineup he submitted against Ryu in Game 2? He did announce Thursday that Christian Yelich will remain in the No. 2 hole.

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
5. Mike Moustakas, 3B
6. Travis Shaw, 2B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Wade Miley, P

Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Ryu (7-3, 1.97 ERA) -- who held the Brewers scoreless the first four innings of Game 2 before allowing a homer, single and double to end his start in the fifth -- has a chance to clinch the Dodgers' second consecutive NL pennant. Ryu struck out four without a walk and got a no-decision.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Ryu discusses being named Game 6 starter

Brewers: The Brewers spent the better part of their three days in Los Angeles parading Miley (5-2, 2.57 ERA) as their starter for Game 5 on short rest, but the real plan was always to start him in Game 6, on one extra day of rest. That became clear to all when Counsell used Miley as an "opener" Wednesday, with Miley walking leadoff man Bellinger before giving way to Brandon Woodruff.

The Brewers are expected to ask for more from Miley on Friday, but how much more is unclear given the paramount importance Counsell has placed on platoon matchups this postseason. When allowed a leash, Miley has been excellent this October. He is unscored upon across 10 1/3 innings, including 5 2/3 against the Dodgers in a Game 2 outing in which Miley chipped in two hits.

Video: Counsell on removing Miley after one batter in Game 5

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: With a day off to travel, Kenley Jansen will be rested by Friday after pitching two innings Tuesday night and getting the final out on Wednesday. Pedro Baez pitched another scoreless inning and could be promoted to setup man over Kenta Maeda. Caleb Ferguson is the situational lefty, and Ryan Madson gets the call to bail the team out of jams with runners on.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Roberts on Miley, offense, Kershaw in win

Brewers: Here is where the Brewers look to their Game 5 loss and see a silver lining. Though they're facing elimination, Milwaukee will have all of its top relievers ready and available following Thursday's off-day. Josh Hader and Corey Knebel will be on two days' rest, and Jeremy Jeffress will be on three. After appearing in each of the Brewers' first five postseason games, Jeffress is yet to appear in either of the past two.

"We're going back home, to me, in a position of strength," Counsell said. "We have a great opportunity. We've got Wade and Jhoulys Chacin lined up to begin the games, and I guess Jhoulys could be involved in Game 6 if we need him. But we've got two starters lined up, and we've got a bullpen that's going to get a day off, and some of our key guys are going to get multiple days off and be ready to go in a two-game stretch where we can use them.

"We're in a good spot, man. We're going home. And I know you're going to play, 'What if we could have captured another one of these games?' But we're still going home and have a chance with this thing with a bunch of guys in really good shape."

Video: MLB Tonight previews Game 6 of the NLCS

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: No.

Brewers: Woodruff is likely out, given the 5 1/3 innings he threw in Game 5. Besides that, it should be all hands on deck for the Brewers, potentially including tentative Game 7 starter Chacin.

Video: Trevor Bauer on Woodruff's arsenal, Brewers' bullpen

Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: No.

Brewers: No.

Video: Dave Roberts on the bullpen's success this playoffs

Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: Barnes struck out three times in Game 5, but he also delivered the biggest hit and is likely to continue starting ahead of Yasmani Grandal. Baez has seven strikeouts with no runs in 4 1/3 innings in the NLCS after striking out three in 2 1/3 scoreless innings of the NL Division Series. Going back to Sept. 11, he hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 1/3 innings with 15 strikeouts. Enrique Hernandez is 0-for-10 with five strikeouts.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Barnes drives in Taylor with an RBI single

Brewers: The Brewers still have way too many "nots" in their lineup, starting with Yelich, who is 3-for-20 without an extra-base hit in the NLCS after going 0-for-4 in Game 5. Moustakas is also struggling to the tune of 2-for-21.

"As an offense, we have to find a way to score some runs," said Yelich. "With the off-day, we can kind of just flush it. Really focus being at home and lock it in in these next two."

Video: Counsell on Brewers' offensive struggles in NLCS

Anything else fans might want to know?
The Dodgers have a 5-1 record when taking a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven postseason series. The Brewers find themselves in a spot similar to the 2011 NLCS against the Cardinals, having split the first two games before losing two of three on the road. They'll aim for a different outcome this time; the '11 club lost Game 6 at Miller Park to eventual World Series champion St. Louis.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers

Priceless! Lefty sends Red Sox to World Series

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

HOUSTON -- For years, David Price was forced to carry around his postseason misfortunes as a nuisance that wouldn't go away in an otherwise decorated career. The lefty didn't hide from it. He just vowed over and over that the narrative would change at some point.

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HOUSTON -- For years, David Price was forced to carry around his postseason misfortunes as a nuisance that wouldn't go away in an otherwise decorated career. The lefty didn't hide from it. He just vowed over and over that the narrative would change at some point.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Price leads Sox to pennant with 6 scoreless

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That point was Thursday night at Minute Maid Park, when Price pitched his Red Sox to the American League pennant with a marvelous performance on three days' rest in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tuesday on FOX

Behind Price's first win in 12 career postseason starts -- and home runs by J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers -- Boston dethroned the defending World Series champion Astros with a 4-1 victory.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Red Sox celebrate series win over Astros

Red Sox cut above with another AL pennant

It was sweet for everyone with the Red Sox, but it had to taste the best for Price, who went to sleep late Wednesday with a visualization that turned to reality.

Video: Scott Braun talks with David Price after the win

"My last thought last night before I went to bed was probably a little bit different," Price said. "The night before I pitch, I'm just envisioning myself making pitches, and last night I envisioned myself doing this [clubhouse celebration] right here. Just going through my head, [I thought of] what I was going to say, and I'm happy that it happened."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Price on preparing for his Game 5 start

Never again will Price have to talk about having zero playoff wins as a starter. The reality of that hit Price immediately, and that thought was sweeter for the 33-year-old than the champagne that drenched him repeatedly in the victorious clubhouse.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Cora, Bradley Jr., Betts on Price's outing

"That's cool. That's awesome," Price said. "I don't have to prepare myself for that in Spring Training, February 20th or when September rolls around every year and I've still got five regular-season starts left. I don't have to answer that question anymore, so that feels good."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Bradley Jr. named MVP of the ALCS

Jackie Bradley Jr. -- who delivered a go-ahead three-run double in Game 2 in Boston, punctuated an 8-2 win in Game 3 with an eighth-inning grand slam and launched a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning of Game 4 -- was named the ALCS Most Valuable Player.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Bradley Jr. discusses winning the ALCS, MVP

Now it will be the Red Sox, led by rookie manager Alex Cora, who represent the AL in the World Series, which will start on Tuesday night at Fenway Park against the Dodgers or Brewers. This is the first trip to the Fall Classic since 2013 for Boston, which has a chance to win its fourth championship ('13, '07, '04) in 15 seasons since ending that infamous 86-year drought.

Video: ALCS Gm 5: Alex Cora on heading to the World Series

"Huge," said Martinez. "That's one of the best feelings in the world. To be bringing a World Series opportunity back to [the fans of Boston] and an American League championship to Boston, I'm sure they're going nuts back home."

Video: MLB Tonight talks J.D. Martinez's adjustments

Pitching on three days' rest after a start for the first time in his career -- and filling in for ace Chris Sale, who is recovering from a stomach illness -- Price mowed through the Astros, using a dominant changeup to keep them off-balance. Over six innings, the lefty allowed three hits and no runs while walking none and notching nine strikeouts, his career best in the postseason. Price threw 93 pitches and generated 15 swings and misses, 12 coming on changeups. He outdueled Houston ace Justin Verlander, who was on regular rest, by a wide margin.

Video: MLB Tonight breaks down David Price's game

"There was a lot of noise," said Cora. "I was saying today that -- I don't want to pick battles with the media, but I heard somebody today on TV just blasting David, blasting him, calling him the worst pitcher in the postseason. Yeah, the numbers are there, I know, but he was saying this -- he didn't hesitate, saying it was a bad matchup, one of the greatest against the worst and all that. I don't listen too much to what's going on outside, but that one got me."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Cora on Price's stellar performance in win

This time, Price had the last laugh, and he soaked up every bit of it. After the trophy presentation, Price was the first player out of the Red Sox's clubhouse. He walked to a barricade where all the families of Boston's players were. When they saw Price, they all roared. Price hugged his wife, Tiffany, and held his 17-month-old son, Xavier.

Video: ALCS Gm5: David Price has his son at the podium

"That's my rock, so that's cool," Price said of embracing his family.

Fittingly, the performance came one day shy of the 10th anniversary of Price's other signature moment in the playoffs, when he earned a clutch save for the Rays against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS. Cora started that night at shortstop for Boston. On Thursday, the manager enjoyed his 43rd birthday by watching Price dominate.

Sox sing 'Happy Birthday' to Cora after clinching

Video: ALCS Gm5: Cora on winning pennant as rookie manager

This is Price's first trip to the World Series since that 2008 season, when he was a September callup and his team lost to the Phillies.

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

To have it happen this way, just a day after Price threw 40 pitches in the bullpen in case he was needed in the late stages of a wild Game 4, was surreal.

Young fan overcome with joy at AL pennant win

"He's right at the top step every time someone hits a home run," Martinez said of Price. "We all know his history and stuff like that, so for him, we're so proud of him. To be able to do what he did today on short rest, he picked us up. He carried us."

This ALCS was built up as a clash of the titans between clubs that combined for 211 wins during the regular season, and both looked imposing in the AL Division Series.

After losing Game 1, and looking disjointed in doing so, the Red Sox regained the dominance they displayed throughout much of the season and took four straight from the Astros, including the last two at Minute Maid Park. Boston is 5-0 on the road in this postseason, marking the first time it has won five straight road games in a single playoff run.

"We ran out of wins. We had a tough-fought series," said Houston manager AJ Hinch. "They took it to us. When you get two evenly matched teams up against each other, there's going to be swings in momentum and big at-bats and a little bit of luck, a little bit of bad luck. And they outplayed us. They did a really good job of having an excellent game plan and going and executing it and they were extremely tough."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Hinch congratulates Red Sox on series win

Price came out dealing. In the fourth, he threw his second- and third-hardest pitches of the season (95.8 and 95.5 mph) during a strikeout of Carlos Correa.

The final pitch of the night for Price was a changeup that he struck out Jose Altuve. Knowing he was done for the night, and that his first postseason win as a starter was finally in his grasp, Price pumped his fist and shouted with joy as he went back to the dugout.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Price on Cora's demeanor and leadership

"Six shutout inning against the world champs with nine punchouts and three hits," said Price, reflecting on the excitement that hit him after he threw his final pitch.

With Cora's bullpen pretty well spent after a busy few days, he went to righty Matt Barnes for the first two outs of the seventh. After Marwin Gonzalez finally put the Astros on the board with a homer and Barnes walked Tony Kemp, starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi came out of the 'pen just two days after throwing 92 pitches in his win in Game 3. Eovaldi also took care of the eighth, and closer Craig Kimbrel finished it with his third save of the series, though the first two were more adventurous than he wanted.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Eovaldi tosses 1 1/3 key innings

"We found a few things last night after the game," said Kimbrel. "Some stuff I've been struggling with for a while. I feel like I was able to hone it in tonight, get back online and pitch like I'm supposed to."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Kimbrel earns the save to clinch pennant

Though the end result made it look like Boston won the series in a romp, it sure didn't start that way. When the Red Sox got to the ballpark for Game 2 at Fenway Park, there was an urgency to salvage a split before the ALCS shifted to Houston. Price started that game, and though he came one out shy of qualifying for the win, he made some big pitches and left with a lead. With the Sox winning Game 2, it marked the first time his team had won a postseason game he started. Price called it a baby step.

So what was the clinching victory in Game 5?

Video: JBJ, Benintendi help lead Sox over Astros in ALCS

"A real step," said Price.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Price, clutch HRs, 'pen lead Sox to pennant

And for the Red Sox, the next step -- the biggest of them all -- is the World Series.

Video: Martinez on clinching World Series appearance

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
J.D. strikes first: Martinez helped the Red Sox break out first for the fourth straight game, though they waited until the third inning this time. That was when Martinez smoked a one-out solo shot to left on a curveball in the upper part of the strike zone by Verlander. Martinez's first homer of the ALCS had a Statcast-projected exit velocity of 105.4 mph and traveled a projected 396 feet, clanging off a sign above the seats. The Sox are 80-5 this season when they score first, including 6-0 in the postseason.

Video: Must C Crushed: Martinez gets Red Sox on the board

"Huge, obviously," said Martinez. "He's one of those guys, you've got to get him rattled. You've got to have traffic. You've got to have something to just get him out of that groove. When he gets in that grove, he's tough, man. There's a reason he's one of the best pitchers in the game."

Devers strikes second: Martinez's missile was the only run of the game until the sixth. That was when Verlander served up a leadoff double to Mitch Moreland, a single by Ian Kinsler and then a huge three-run homer to the opposite field in left by Devers that gave Boston a 4-0 lead. Devers got enough of Verlander's 98.2-mph heater to get it over the wall. It wasn't an easy pitch to hit, as it had a 2,805 rpm spin rate. MLB hitters combined to hit just four home runs in the regular season off 4-seamers with 98+ mph and 2,600+ rpm.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Devers homers off Verlander's 98.2-mph heat

"Devers hit his decent. It's unfortunate that it went out," said Verlander. "He put a decent swing on it. It's not until I get back and see the exit velo that I know it wasn't hit as good as I thought. He hit it well. But it's the Moreland one that was kind of debilitating, just out of the reach of the left fielder to lead off an inning, when we're already down a run. That's tough to deal with."

Video: ALCS Gm5: Price on Devers coming up clutch

Devers' home run confused fan who caught it

SOUND SMART
With his third career homer in postseason play before the age of 22, Devers is tied for fourth all-time on that list with Andruw Jones, trailing only Mickey Mantle, Bryce Harper and Miguel Cabrera, who all had four. Price became the first AL pitcher working on three or fewer days of rest to record at least six shutout innings in a postseason game since Mike Mussina for the Orioles in Game 6 of the 1997 ALCS against the Indians.

Video: Red Sox beat Yankees, Astros, advance to World Series

HE SAID IT
"It hasn't sunk in yet, honestly. It's something you dream about as a kid, playing in the World Series, and now we are. Our job's not finished yet. We still have four more wins. We're going to play a good team regardless of who we play. We're going to enjoy this tonight and get after that in two days." -- Andrew Benintendi, on going to the World Series

Video: Benintendi talks Red Sox's clinch with Braun

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, David Price

Will Machado's bumpy week affect his value?

MLB.com @jonmorosi

Over the past several days, Manny Machado scored the winning run in the 13th inning of a National League Championship Series game, told Ken Rosenthal that hustling to first base is not his "cup of tea," slid impermissibly into second base, and was described as "a dirty player" by the presumptive NL MVP Award winner.

Dizzying? Sure. Flattering? Not especially. And once there are no games left in 2018 -- whether or not Machado's Dodgers win their first World Series in 30 years -- the industry will be left to ponder the price of those perceptions.

Over the past several days, Manny Machado scored the winning run in the 13th inning of a National League Championship Series game, told Ken Rosenthal that hustling to first base is not his "cup of tea," slid impermissibly into second base, and was described as "a dirty player" by the presumptive NL MVP Award winner.

Dizzying? Sure. Flattering? Not especially. And once there are no games left in 2018 -- whether or not Machado's Dodgers win their first World Series in 30 years -- the industry will be left to ponder the price of those perceptions.

To put it bluntly: Will fresh evidence of Machado's flaws -- particularly his admission to Rosenthal that he should "[give] a little more effort" on the field -- cost him in free agency this offseason?

The impact will be "minimal," one high-ranking club executive said Thursday, and others around the industry concurred.

It's impossible to declare with certainty that Machado's market value diminished in recent days. No general manager has told me that last week he was prepared to pay Machado $300 million over 10 years -- and the slew-footing of Jesus Aguilar dropped the figure to a mere $200 million.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado on altercation with Aguilar

And even if that were the case, one GM's change in valuation might have little (or no) bearing on the guaranteed amount of Machado's eventual deal, as long as the interest of other clubs remains steady.

Analytical data will heavily influence the years and dollars in every Machado offer; that is generally good news for him, as numbers tend to produce favorable portrayals of 26-year-olds at their athletic peak. In addition, Machado's future earnings will be shaped by the input of executives, scouts, managers and coaches who have followed him for years. And for those close observers, the controversy of the past week has been a reminder -- not a revelation.

Christian Yelich's characterization of Machado's clipping of Aguilar as "a dirty play by a dirty player" was noteworthy. But it was not surprising in light of past incidents, including a takeout slide that injured Boston's Dustin Pedroia last year, charging the mound against Yordano Ventura in 2016, and throwing a bat toward third baseman Josh Donaldson two years earlier.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Yelich reacts to Machado's baserunning

As for his inconsistent effort running to first base, Machado told Rosenthal, "I've done the same thing for eight years." As one longtime scout affirmed to me Thursday: "That's been Manny since Day 1."

Another description of Manny since Day 1: His 175 home runs rank fifth all time among infielders through their age-25 season. The names ahead of him: Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Mathews, Jimmie Foxx and Orlando Cepeda.

In a sport that venerates being available every day, Machado's reliability is beyond reproach. He has played 637 games over the past four regular seasons, the most in the Major Leagues. Machado was one of only seven Major Leaguers to appear in 162 games in 2018.

Machado's ability to play third base or shortstop is valuable to teams, as is his contact rate in a swing-and-miss era. He had the third-fewest strikeouts of any player to produce 30 home runs and 100 RBIs this year.

For all of those reasons, Machado was the most coveted position player in baseball leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. The Phillies wanted him then and probably will try to sign him this offseason. The Yankees are expected to pursue Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, especially with Didi Gregorius coming off Tommy John surgery.

Thus, the effect of a turbulent week on Machado is likely to be "marginal," one rival team official said. Of course, "marginal" is a relative term. If Machado had been in line for a $300 million offer, and now a team loves him 5 percent less, those misadventures on the bases came with a $15 million penalty.

The reality is that Machado will become a very wealthy man this offseason, because your team's front office likely feels similarly about him now as it did last week.

And probably last year, too.

Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network.

Manny Machado

3 keys for Brew Crew to avoid elimination in Game 6

MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- So far, the National League Championship Series is following a familiar pattern to Brewers fans, which is either discouraging or a reason for hope, depending on how far back one has followed the team.

In 2011, the last time Milwaukee made it this far, the Brewers won Game 1 of the NLCS at home but went to St. Louis tied at 1-1, then lost two of three on the road and returned to Miller Park needing to win both games to stay alive. Shaun Marcum didn't give them a chance in Game 6, and it was over. This year's club will hope for better from Wade Miley when he faces the Dodgers on Friday night.

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MILWAUKEE -- So far, the National League Championship Series is following a familiar pattern to Brewers fans, which is either discouraging or a reason for hope, depending on how far back one has followed the team.

In 2011, the last time Milwaukee made it this far, the Brewers won Game 1 of the NLCS at home but went to St. Louis tied at 1-1, then lost two of three on the road and returned to Miller Park needing to win both games to stay alive. Shaun Marcum didn't give them a chance in Game 6, and it was over. This year's club will hope for better from Wade Miley when he faces the Dodgers on Friday night.

View Full Game Coverage

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 6: Tonight, 8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 CT on FS1

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

But there's another must-win scenario that offers more hope. In 1982, when Milwaukee was in the American League Championship Series and it was a best-of-five series under a 2-3 format, the team lost the first two games in Anaheim and returned home facing three must-win games. The Brewers won, of course, and advanced to Milwaukee's only World Series since the Braves days.

Here are three things that will get them back:

1. Hit!
Pitching has not been the problem for the Brewers in this series. Their starters have a 1.29 ERA through the first five games against the Dodgers, which would tie for ninth-best all-time in the LCS round with the 1995 Braves (Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz) and the '69 Orioles (Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Jim Palmer). Yes, that stat deserves an asterisk, since no team has ever asked less from its starters through the first five games of an LCS than Milwaukee has with the 14 innings delivered so far, including Miley's unprecedented one-batter appearance on Wednesday.

Gear up for the NLCS

So, expand it to the whole staff. The Brewers and Dodgers have been remarkably even in pitching so far in the series. Brewers pitchers have a 3.02 ERA and a .220 average against, and the Dodgers have a 2.81 ERA and a .219 average against. The 61 strikeouts by Brewers pitchers so far tied the record set by the 2013 Tigers for most whiffs through five games of an LCS; Max Scherzer & Co. struck out 12 in Game 6 of that series to set the all-time LCS record with 73 strikeouts but lost that game to the eventual World Series champion Red Sox.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Roberts' thoughts on the Brewers' bullpen

So, pitching is not the problem.

Hitting is.

Again, the raw numbers are equal -- 16 runs scored apiece. But Los Angeles has come through more often in the clutch, particularly against the vaunted Milwaukee relief corps (10-for-43 with runners in scoring position and an .807 OPS after the sixth inning compared to the Brewers' 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position and .592 OPS after the sixth inning).

And the Brewers are getting little from some of the hitters they count on most. Christian Yelich is 3-for-20 in the NLCS including 0-for-7 with five strikeouts with runners in scoring position. Mike Moustakas is 2-for-21. Jesus Aguilar is 4-for-18 including 0-for-5 with four strikeouts with runners in scoring position. Ryan Braun is 5-for-21.

Counsell: Yelich 'right there,' will stay in 2-hole

Is it the Dodgers' pitching? Is it just the way it is in October? Is it because the Brewers' hitters are pressing?

"I'm sure it's a combination of all of those things," Braun said. "I think the other team deserves some credit. They have a great pitching staff. It's obvious they have a very talented staff. But we just picked a bad time to go through a rough stretch offensively. We're going through a period where there's a lot of guys not seeing the ball well. You combine all of those factors and we wind up in the position we're in offensively right now."

Video: MLB Tonight previews Game 6 of the NLCS

2. The pitching is in a good place. Capitalize.
Initially, Miley was to pitch Game 5 on short rest opposite Clayton Kershaw before either a bullpen game or Jhoulys Chacin on short rest in Friday's Game 6. But Miley's surprise one-batter-and-done decoy, which essentially amounted to a side session and gave Brandon Woodruff a couple of favorable matchups after he took over, positioned the Brewers with their two best starting pitchers fully rested and ready for Game 6 and, they hope, Game 7.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Brewers on using Miley as an opener

And while they obviously would have preferred to win Game 5, by navigating the game without using Corey Knebel for the first time in October and avoiding a third consecutive day of Josh Hader while giving Jeremy Jeffress another day off, the Brewers' primary relievers are well positioned to cover a significant chunk of Game 6 and be available for a Game 7 if they can get there.

Dodgers-Brewers G6: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

The Dodgers, meanwhile, used their ace in Game 5 and closer Kenley Jansen in Games 4 and 5, though the latter appearance spanned only four pitches for one out. Jansen has not allowed a run to the Brewers in 20 appearances.

"We're going back home, to me, in a position of strength," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "We've got Wade and Jhoulys lined up to begin the games, and I guess Jhoulys could be involved in Game 6 if we need him. But we've got two starters lined up, and we've got a bullpen that's going to get a day off and some of our key guys are going to get multiple days off and be ready to go in a two-game stretch where we can use them.

"We're in a good spot, man."

Video: Trevor Bauer on Woodruff's arsenal, Brewers' bullpen

3. Win one.
Thank goodness this analysis is free. But here's what we're getting at:

Every player who talked in the Brewers' clubhouse in the wake of their 5-2 loss in Game 5 -- which left Milwaukee trailing in a series for the first time this postseason -- said the team would draw on its charged games down the stretch to handle the pressure of Game 6 and a potential Game 7. Remember that Milwaukee trailed the Cubs in the NL Central by a season-high six games as late as Aug. 28, and trailed by five games entering play on Sept. 3.

Playing as if the games were must-win, the Brewers closed the gap on the Cubs by winning 20 of their final 26 games in the regular season, including a pressure-packed Game 163 at Wrigley Field that was the difference between having to face the Rockies in a do-or-die Wild Card Game or rest up for the NLDS.

Video: MIL@CHC: Brewers beat Cubs to clinch NL Central title

"We've faced that same urgency over the last three weeks," Braun said. "Our postseason started with 10-12 games to go during the regular season. We've been through this before."

Yelich made a good point, however. There is no longer any safety net.

"We're right back in familiar territory," he said. "It's a little higher stakes, because if we didn't win those games in the regular season, we had the Wild Card. These, you really have to win. It's win or go home now. We have no other choice. All our focus is on winning Game 6."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers

Rumors: Morton, Keuchel, Kimbrel, Realmuto

The latest MLB free agent and trade rumors for Hot Stove season
MLB.com

As the postseason concludes, Hot Stove season begins. MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

• Complete list of free agents this offseason 

As the postseason concludes, Hot Stove season begins. MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

• Complete list of free agents this offseason 

Morton, Keuchel among Astros' key free agents
Oct. 19: After their hopes of back-to-back World Series titles were dashed by the Red Sox in the ALCS, the Astros now turn their attention to an offseason in which they have a number of key free-agent decisions to make.

The rotation could have a different look next season, with Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel entering free agency. Morton has pondered retirement, but he indicated that he'd like to continue his career after Thursday's season-ending loss.

"I'd love to keep playing, I'd love to be an Astro," Morton said, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "I'd love to be part of this again. Ultimately, it's not really up to me. It's not solely up to me."

Tweet from @Chandler_Rome: Charlie Morton, who is 34 and a pending free agent: ���I���d love to keep playing, I���d love to be an Astro. I���d love to be part of this again. Ultimately, it���s not really up to me. It���s not solely up to me.���

If Morton decides he wants to come back for one more season, he might be open to accepting a one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer to finish his career with Houston. Keuchel, though, is expected to seek a multi-year deal.

Houston does have several internal options who could step into the rotation if needed, including Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh, Josh James and top prospect Forrest Whitley.

On the other side of the ball, the Astros' don't have to worry about losing anyone from their core of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer, but utility man Marwin Gonzalez is set for free agency. Houston could look to bring Gonzalez back, as his ability to play all over the diamond while providing above-average offensive production (112 wRC+ from 2014-18) makes him an important part of the roster.

The Astros are also expected to have some turnover at the catching position, with Martin Maldonado headed for free agency and Brian McCann's $15 million club option unlikely to be picked up. Evan Gattis will be a free agent as well, though he made just two appearances behind the plate in 2018. The Astros will probably let Gattis walk, opening up more at-bats for Tyler White at designated hitter in 2019.

To address their need at catcher, Houston could pursue Yasmani Grandal or Wilson Ramos in free agency, or explore a trade for the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto.

Kimbrel delivers first scoreless appearance of 2018 postseason in ALCS Game 5
Oct. 19: The Red Sox beat the Astros, 4-1, in ALCS Game 5 on Thursday to win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series, with closer Craig Kimbrel throwing a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Red Sox win the American League pennant

It was Kimbrel's first scoreless appearance of the entire postseason. Although he is 5-for-5 in save chances, the right-hander has allowed five runs over 6 ⅓ innings while yielding six hits, six walks and two hit batsmen in this year's playoffs. With Kimbrel struggling on a big stage, it's fair to wonder how much he has hurt his stock with free agency upcoming after the season.

Kimbrel has long been one of the most dominant closers in baseball, and he had another strong campaign in the 2018 regular season. However, he also showed some signs of regression, posting a career-high 3.13 FIP with a 3.1 K/BB ratio (1.42 FIP, 9.0 K/BB ratio in '17).

Recent history may also give teams pause when it comes to the size of Kimbrel's next contract, as the lucrative deals given to big-name closers such as Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman, Wade Davis and Mark Melancon in the past few offseasons haven't gone as well as the signing clubs likely hoped they would.

Still, most teams will likely view Kimbrel as the best available option among the free agents with closing experience, and given the ever-growing importance of relievers in today's game, there shouldn't be a shortage of clubs interested in his services -- especially if he can rebound in the Fall Classic.

Will Realmuto be with Marlins in 2019?
Oct. 18: J.T. Realmuto's future with the Marlins has been a persistent storyline since the club began its rebuild by dealing Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon last offseason, and that's unlikely to change during the coming months.

Realmuto, who will be 28 years old on Opening Day in 2019, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining, and as MLB.com's Joe Frisaro notes, the Marlins will likely need to present him with a path to contention within that timeframe to convince him to sign a long-term deal.

According to Frisaro, the Marlins will try to do that this winter but are also expected to explore trade scenarios for the backstop to keep their options open.

Realmuto made the All-Star team for the first time in 2018, hitting .277 with a personal-best 21 homers, 74 RBIs and .825 OPS. He also posted a 38 percent caught-stealing rate -- 10 percentage points above the MLB average -- and allowed just eight passed balls in 951 innings behind the plate.

The Nationals, Astros, Phillies, Red Sox, A's and Rockies are among the contenders that could be in the market for a catcher, though the Marlins' asking price will likely remain lofty. More >

Yankees expected to pursue Machado after Gregorius undergoes Tommy John surgery
Oct. 18: With Didi Gregorius recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the shortstop position is now an unexpected question mark for the Yankees. The speculation, of course, is that Gregorius' injury may only increase the Yankees' interest in impending free agent Manny Machado, who was already expected to be on the club's offseason radar as a potential option at third base.

And as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman notes in an article for Fancred Sports, there's good reason for that speculation. New York has tried to land Machado before, and Machado's interest in joining the Yankees was documented back in August, when Heyman reported that people close to the slugger were suggesting that the club was his first choice in free agency.

Machado, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner at the hot corner, struggled defensively at shortstop with the Orioles this season (-18 defensive runs saved), but he has been much improved since joining the Dodgers in a July trade (6 DRS).

And while Machado's lack of hustle has been a topic of conversation during the postseason, teams may be willing to overlook that problem given his immense talent.

Gregorius has been worth 8.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) over the past two seasons, per FanGraphs, so the Yankees aren't going to be in a hurry to move on from him. But the shortstop can become a free agent next offseason, and signing Machado would give the Yankees extra leverage in contract negotiations with Gregorius, as well as insurance in case his recovery from Tommy John surgery doesn't go smoothly.

The Yankees could also sign Machado and then work out an extension with Gregorius to secure the left side of their infield into the next decade, but they would need to trade or find a new position for third baseman Miguel Andujar.

Another possibility, if New York doesn't land Machado this winter, could be Giants second baseman Joe Panik, who is expected to be on the trade market, according to Heyman. Panik, who was an All-Star in 2015 and won a Gold Glove Award in '16, has been beset with injuries much of the last few seasons. But he turns 28 at the end of the month, and is under team control for another three years. The Yankees could have him at second with Gleyber Torres at shortstop. Panik would also provide a left-handed bat to replace the left-handed-hitting Gregorius in the Yankees lineup, which is heavily right-handed.

Granted, the rotation is arguably a greater area of need than the offense, with Luis Severino struggling in the second half and CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn hitting free agency. Adding a starter such as left-hander Patrick Corbin, who is expected to be one of the Yankees' free-agent targets, according to another report from Heyman, may be the club's top priority.

But as Heyman points out, the Yankees could be in position to sign multiple top free agents, considering they won't be subject to the luxury-tax repeat-offender penalty after staying under the threshold in 2018.

Phillies set to make run at Machado, Harper
Oct. 18: Will Manny Machado and Bryce Harper join forces in Philadelphia? According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an appearance on "The Rundown" on Thursday, the Phillies are prepared to pursue both players, and many expect them to come away with at least one.

"People around baseball are going to be surprised if [the Phillies] don't get at least one of these two players, and maybe both," Heyman said.

Heyman had a similar report back in September, writing for Fancred Sports that multiple rival executives believed that the Phillies could land both superstars.

However, as Heyman pointed out Thursday, it could ultimately be tough for any team to pull that off, as both players are looking to break the bank in free agency. Furthermore, any club looking to sign either player will have plenty of competition.

Video: Heyman on Mariners, Phillies free agent rumors

Nats planning to make strong effort to retain Harper
Oct. 18: As fan bases and front offices around the Majors dream of having Bryce Harper in the fold next season, the only team Harper has ever played for is holding out hope that the impending free agent will be back.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports, the Nationals plan to make a strong effort to retain Harper this offseason, though they are also formulating an alternative plan in case he opts to sign elsewhere.

This comes after Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported last week that the consensus within the Nats organization is that the club does not want to eclipse the competitive balance tax threshold after doing so in each of the past two seasons.

If Harper is signed for roughly $30 million annually, it could considerably hinder the Nationals' ability to address other needs on the roster. However, it doesn't sound like that will prevent Washington from making a major push to re-sign its homegrown star.

Janes also reports that if Harper signs, it could mean center fielder Adam Eaton goes on the trade block. Eaton has only played in 118 games during two seasons with Washington due to injury, hitting .300/.394/.422.

Morton tagged for three runs in ALCS Game 4 showcase start
Oct. 17: Bound for free agency this offseason, Astros right-hander Charlie Morton wasn't needed at all in the postseason before his start on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against Boston.

But in what could have been his final showcase as a starter for potential suitors, Morton didn't make it out of the third inning, getting tagged for three runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, including a Rafael Devers two-run single in the first and a Xander Bogaerts RBI double in the third, which chased him from the game. He struck out two, walked two, hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches.

Morton said before Tuesday's Game 3 that he would not be Houston's starter for Game 7 of the ALCS if the series were to make it that far. He could be available out of the bullpen, as he was in Game 7 of last season's World Series, but he indicated that it would be unlikely due to the composition of Houston's relief corps.

"I'm more than willing to go down [to the bullpen]," Morton said. "But even with just having [Collin McHugh] and [Lance McCullers Jr.] down there for some length, and [Josh James] as well, it doesn't seem like there's been a pressing need for a guy that's usually starting to go down there."

The right-hander will likely be one of the most coveted free-agent starters despite his Wednesday struggles, as he has gone 29-10 with a 3.36 ERA and a 10.4 K/9 rate in 55 regular-season starts over two years with Houston. He was also outstanding in the World Series last year, allowing two runs in 10 1/3 innings and getting the final 12 outs of Game 7.

Granted, there's a chance that Morton, who has pondered retirement, will never enter free agency, as he might be willing to accept a possible $17.9 million qualifying offer to stay in Houston for one more year before calling it a career.

Cashman has no comment on Machado's lack of hustle, says Sanchez isn't available
Oct. 17: Since news broke that shortstop Didi Gregorius would need to undergo Tommy John surgery -- he had the procedure Wednesday -- speculation has increased about the Yankees' intention to pursue Manny Machado in free agency.

Tweet from @TMKSESPN: ICYMI: Brian Cashman joins the guys to discuss Severino tipping pitches, Greg Bird's role on the team, Jacoby Ellsbury's future and more.🔊https://t.co/qmnQZ2htBO

Meanwhile, Machado has drawn some negative attention for his lack of hustle in the NLCS vs. the Brewers. Although Machado's name wasn't specifically mentioned, Brian Cashman was asked about the situation when the Yankees general manager called into "The Michael Kay Show" on Wednesday.

"If somebody is an otherworldly talent that doesn't run hard to first base all the time, would that be somebody the Yankees would want to put in their clubhouse?" Kay asked.

Cashman, though, wouldn't take the bait.

"Boy, you're really good at what you do," Cashman said, good-naturedly. "You're trying to Jedi mind trick me into answering a question that would put me into the abyss at MLB."

Video: MLB Now looks at Machado not running out a grounder

However, Cashman did have an emphatic answer when asked whether he had any pause about moving forward with Gary Sanchez as the Yankees' starting catcher after the slugger's disappointing season.

"I believe in Gary Sanchez," Cashman said. "Clearly it's up to us to continue to find ways to unlock what he's capable of.

"I'm already getting phone calls, to be honest, clubs trying to knock on our door to see if he's available, and he's not."

Kershaw dazzles in what could be last Dodgers start, still undecided on opt-out clause
Oct. 17: Clayton Kershaw is expected to opt out of his contract with the Dodgers after this season and test the free-agent market, according to a recent report from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The 30-year-old left-hander tossed seven strong innings in Los Angeles' 5-2 win in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Brewers on Wednesday, giving up one run on three hits, walking two and striking out nine to help give the Dodgers a 3-2 series lead.

Kershaw was asked prior to the game whether he had made a decision on the matter within the context that he could be making his final career start with the Dodgers should they fail to advance to the World Series.

"I have not made a decision," Kershaw said. "And to my understanding you get 10 days after the World Series. So should be a busy 10 days."

Kershaw was referencing the 10-day period after the World Series in which he will be mandated to make a decision of whether to opt out of the two years and just over $70 million remaining on a seven-year, $215 million contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2014 season.

When asked if he had been processing things differently this postseason given his well-accoladed history with Los Angeles, and the potential that this could be his last with the Dodgers, Kershaw said: "Trying not to. I think it's hard enough to try and win a postseason game. I know more than anybody knows that. So, I think for me it's just trying to focus as much as I possibly can on the Brewers and getting ready for [Wednesday's] start. And putting everything else on the back burner as best I possibly can."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed Kershaw's sentiment and focus when he was asked about Kershaw's uncertain future with the club. 

"You bring it up to my attention and I'm sure -- I guess it's a reality," Roberts said. "But I think that for me it's just thinking about [Wednesday] with Clayton pitching for us. And so I don't get too far ahead of that, no."

Kershaw, the '14 NL MVP Award winner and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, has dealt with lingering back issues the past three seasons and was limited to just 26 starts this year, so it is far from certain that the left-hander would be able to find a suitor for another longterm deal. However, he'd likely be able to sign for more than the two years he has left on his current pact with the Dodgers. More >

Storen hoping to make comeback after missing 2018
Oct. 17: More than a year removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery, reliever Drew Storen is hoping to make a comeback in 2019, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported via Twitter on Wednesday.

The right-hander underwent the procedure Sept. 26, 2017, and missed the entire '18 campaign while recovering. Per Heyman, the 31-year-old free agent is throwing his full arsenal of pitches and is ready to showcase himself to Major League clubs.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Drew Storen sat last year out after Tommy John surgery but he���s throwing his full arsenal of pitches now & is ready to showcase for teams. Storen, still only 30, appears ready to go as the video suggests: pic.twitter.com/qXuj4PcUX3

Storen posted a 4.45 ERA over 54 2/3 innings with the Reds in '17, but he owns a lifetime 3.45 ERA with 99 saves in eight big league seasons.

Oh wants to return to KBO
Oct. 17: Seunghwan Oh wants to return to the Korea Baseball Organization after three seasons in MLB, the Rockies reliever told Korean news outlets Wednesday.

Oh has a guaranteed $2.5 million salary with the Rockies for next season, as the vesting option in his contract kicked in after he made 70 appearances this year. But the 36-year-old's preference appears to be to go back to the league where he pitched his first nine professional seasons. Oh first left the KBO for Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball in 2014, then jumped to the Major Leagues in 2016.

"I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States," Oh said. "I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can't make this decision alone. I'll have to speak with my agency about the next season."

Oh also said, "It's not easy living in a foreign country. You have to face the opposing hitters on the mound, and there are a lot of other things you have to battle off the field. Everything away from the stadium is an extension of competition."

If Oh does, in fact, leave the Majors, the Rockies would have to replace a key bullpen spot for 2019. After the Rockies acquired him in July, Oh became an important member of what was at times a shaky relief corps in Colorado, posting a 2.53 ERA in 25 appearances down the stretch with 24 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings. Oh pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the Rockies' NL Wild Card Game win over the Cubs, keeping the game tied in the 10th and 11th innings. He allowed two runs in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Brewers, but pitched a scoreless inning in Game 3.

Adam Ottavino, probably the team's best reliever this season, is also set to become a free agent. Without Oh, addressing the bullpen this winter, which would already have been a priority for the Rockies, would become even more critical.

Blue Jays could have significant roster turnover this offseason
Oct. 17: The Blue Jays began their rebuild during the 2018 season by shipping out a number of veterans, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Roberto Osuna and Curtis Granderson, and that process could continue this offseason.

On Wednesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca detailed an extensive offseason plan for Toronto that involves the club trading catcher Russell Martin and designated hitter Kendrys Morales while eating a large portion of both players' salaries.

Nicholson-Smith also suggests that the Jays trade infielder Aledmys Diaz for right-hander Sonny Gray, whom the Yankees are known to be shopping. With Didi Gregorius recovering from Tommy John surgery, Diaz would give the Yanks insurance at shortstop in case they don't sign Manny Machado.

As part of Nicholson-Smith's plan, the Jays would come away with free-agent starter Trevor Cahill and deal for Marlins reliever Adam Conley as well, while picking up first baseman Justin Smoak's $8 million club option and declining infielder Yangervis Solarte's $5.5 million club option.

Per Nicholson-Smith, if this plan is executed, the Jays will open up more playing time for youngsters while also putting themselves in position to have some attractive targets to move before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

3 keys for LA to secure 2nd straight pennant

MLB.com @kengurnick

MILWAUKEE -- After winning two of three against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles returns to Miller Park with a 3-2 lead in the National League Championship Series and needs one win for back-to-back World Series appearances.

The Dodgers have a 5-1 record when taking a 3-2 lead in best-of-seven series, the only loss coming in the 1952 World Series. Teams with a 3-2 lead in the NLCS are 15-6.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- After winning two of three against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles returns to Miller Park with a 3-2 lead in the National League Championship Series and needs one win for back-to-back World Series appearances.

The Dodgers have a 5-1 record when taking a 3-2 lead in best-of-seven series, the only loss coming in the 1952 World Series. Teams with a 3-2 lead in the NLCS are 15-6.

View Full Game Coverage

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 6: Tonight, 8:39 p.m. ET/5:39 PT on FS1

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Here are three keys that the Dodgers will need to win:

1. Keep having the better bullpen
Let's start with the one that got them this far, according to manager Dave Roberts, who said his bullpen's 1.25 NLCS ERA not only isn't a fluke, it's the main reason Los Angeles needs just one more win for a second consecutive pennant. The biggest achievement was eight scoreless innings of relief in the Game 4 marathon win. What Roberts doesn't mention, but what can't be disputed, is that the Dodgers' bullpen has outperformed the bullpen of the Brewers, which was supposed to be their greatest strength.

Dodgers-Brewers G6: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

Of course, all things Dodgers bullpen go through closer Kenley Jansen, who looks to be back to his old, dominating self, right down to the two-inning Game 4 workload after an uneven -- and unhealthy, at times -- season.

Gear up for the NLCS

"I think there's more of a focus," Roberts said of Jansen. "If you look at every part of the season there were things that he's been dealing with physically, mentally, mechanically. But Kenley will be the first to say that when it matters most, the postseason, the big stage, that's when he kind of ramps it up, and that's not necessarily ideal as you hope everyone can kind of approach every outing the same.

"But for a guy that is a multi-year All Star, he's the best closer in the game. That extra adrenaline makes him that much better. And you see the pitch quality and execution going to a couple of different levels this postseason."

Video: NLCS Gm4: Jansen strikes out 2, allows just 1 hit

2. Get it started
A close second to the bullpen in importance, but don't overlook it -- especially with Wade Miley and Jhoulys Chacin lined up to open games against the Dodgers, neither of whom has allowed a run this postseason. Meanwhile, although Game 6 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu and Walker Buehler were the Dodgers' two best starters through September, Ryu allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings of Game 2 and Buehler allowed four runs in seven innings of Game 3. Both, however, pitched better than their lines.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Ryu discusses being named Game 6 starter

Clayton Kershaw threw 98 pitches over seven innings in Game 5, but for the most part Roberts can afford to hook starters early because of bullpen depth and scheduled off-days to rest the relievers. This team is built around its rotation, though, and its best chance to win is if the starters pitch well and pitch long.

Ryu appeared to be cruising until he allowed three consecutive hits in the fifth inning of his start and Roberts yanked him, a winning move thanks to the bullpen and Justin Turner's home run.

Video: MLB Tonight previews Game 6 of the NLCS

3. Singles count
Dodgers hitters can make contact, can work counts, can use the big part of the field and can manufacture runs. They just prefer to slug, and they're really good at it. But in Game 5, their third consecutive contest without a home run, they shortened the swings (a little) and showed that other dimension. Small ball isn't sexy, but against tougher postseason pitching it's often the best path to the Fall Classic and the Dodgers can't forget that.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Kershaw deals, offense downs Brewers in win

In Game 5, five of the last six Dodgers hits went to center field and the other was Max Muncy punching one the other way, which was quite out of character for the lefty.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Start times set for World Series games

MLB.com

Major League Baseball today announced FOX's broadcast schedule for the 2018 World Series, which is set to begin on Tuesday at Fenway Park and is presented by YouTube TV. Baseball's 114th Fall Classic will feature the American League Champion Boston Red Sox, hosting Games One and Two, facing the National League Champions -- either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers currently lead the Brewers by a 3-2 margin heading into tonight's Game Six at Milwaukee's Miller Park (8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 p.m. CT on FS1). If the NLCS goes to a decisive Game Seven, then Saturday's first pitch will be at 8:09 p.m. (ET)/7:09 p.m. (CT) on FS1.

Major League Baseball today announced FOX's broadcast schedule for the 2018 World Series, which is set to begin on Tuesday at Fenway Park and is presented by YouTube TV. Baseball's 114th Fall Classic will feature the American League Champion Boston Red Sox, hosting Games One and Two, facing the National League Champions -- either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers currently lead the Brewers by a 3-2 margin heading into tonight's Game Six at Milwaukee's Miller Park (8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 p.m. CT on FS1). If the NLCS goes to a decisive Game Seven, then Saturday's first pitch will be at 8:09 p.m. (ET)/7:09 p.m. (CT) on FS1.

The 2018 Postseason schedule can be viewed at MLB.com/postseason or via the MLB At Bat mobile app. All games on FOX and FS1 will be available to MLB.TV subscribers who are authenticated subscribers through a participating pay TV provider. ESPN Radio will provide live national coverage of all games of the 2018 World Series. The air-time and first-pitch schedule for the 2018 World Series, subject to change, follows (all times p.m. ET):

Game 1: LAD/MIL @ BOS, Tuesday, 7:30/8:09, FOX
Game 2: LAD/MIL @ BOS, Wednesday, 7:30/8:09, FOX
Game 3: BOS @ LAD/MIL, Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30/8:09, FOX
Game 4: BOS @ LAD/MIL, Saturday, Oct. 27, 7:30/8:09, FOX
Game 5*: BOS @ LAD/MIL, Sunday, Oct. 28, 8:00/8:15, FOX
Game 6*: LAD/MIL @ BOS, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7:30/8:09, FOX
Game 7*: LAD/MIL @ BOS, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 7:30/8:09, FOX

Best Hot Stove value may come via trade

All four LCS teams had highest share of production from swaps
MLB.com @mike_petriello

There's more than one way to build a contending team, obviously. Just look at how the four clubs that reached the League Championship Series this year constructed their rosters.

They can all point to successes in the Draft, both high picks (like first-rounders Walker Buehler and Andrew Benintendi) and low (11th-rounder Joc Pederson or 33rd-rounder Tyler White). They've hit it big by spending in free agency, like with J.D. Martinez or Lorenzo Cain. They all have plenty of examples of little-noticed minor moves that ended up producing surprising breakout stars, like Jesus Aguilar, Justin Turner or Max Muncy, and they've all found gems on the international market, either professionally (like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda) or as amateurs (like Xander Bogaerts, Jose Altuve and Yasiel Puig).

There's more than one way to build a contending team, obviously. Just look at how the four clubs that reached the League Championship Series this year constructed their rosters.

They can all point to successes in the Draft, both high picks (like first-rounders Walker Buehler and Andrew Benintendi) and low (11th-rounder Joc Pederson or 33rd-rounder Tyler White). They've hit it big by spending in free agency, like with J.D. Martinez or Lorenzo Cain. They all have plenty of examples of little-noticed minor moves that ended up producing surprising breakout stars, like Jesus Aguilar, Justin Turner or Max Muncy, and they've all found gems on the international market, either professionally (like Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda) or as amateurs (like Xander Bogaerts, Jose Altuve and Yasiel Puig).

The point is that there's no one right way to do this. You have to add talent any way you can, and the best teams take those players and make them better. But there is one common thread running through these four clubs, one that could inform you about what to expect in the upcoming Hot Stove season. Each of them added about a third of their team value this year via trade. Each of them has found more value in trade than they have in free agency. 

Think about the names we're seeing on the final four clubs acquired via trade. When we point out that huge names Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Christian Yelich, Gerrit Cole, Josh Hader, Craig Kimbrel, Rick Porcello, Manny Machado, Chris Taylor, Travis Shaw, Corey Knebel, Rich Hill and Mike Moustakas all initially landed with their current club via trade, we're just scratching the surface -- there's also Ryan Pressly, Joe Kelly, Enrique Hernandez, Brock Holt, Steve Pearce and so many others.

In fact, if you look at breakdowns of the different avenues of how each team acquired production this year (expressed in Wins Above Replacement), you can see that for each of our final four teams -- and Major League Baseball as a sport -- the largest share of 2018 production was procured via trade.

Obviously, free agency still has a big role. Cain and Martinez are probably the two largest success stories of teams being aggressive and spending for free agents from last offseason (as we attempted to point out at the time), and the final four have also benefited from Jhoulys Chacin, David Price, Mitch Moreland, Josh Reddick, Joe Smith, Hector Rondon and others. This offseason, Machado, Bryce Harper and Patrick Corbin are going to get enormous contracts -- and they're going to deserve them.

But the once-historic 2018-19 free-agent class no longer looks quite so dynamic, thanks to age and injury. When we look back at last offseason, some of the biggest moves ended up coming via trades -- Yelich and Cole, but also Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Andrew McCutchen, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Kemp, Corey Dickerson, Joey Wendle and Dee Gordon. At least part of the reason is access to younger stars, since baseball has been trending towards youth for years.

All of which is to say that while we focus on Harper and Machado this offseason, the most interesting action might not be in who signs McCutchen, Andrew Miller, Zach Britton or Adam Jones. It might be in who makes the best trade, like Milwaukee did for Yelich. Here are 15 potential names to keep in mind.

C J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
Ever since the Marlins tore it down last offseason by trading Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna and Gordon, the question has been whether they'd continue by trading Realmuto (.277/.340/.484, 21 home runs), who has two seasons left before free agency and is probably the best all-around catcher in the game. It would be nice if Miami could build around him, but if it can't sign him to an extension, we're going to hear his name in many rumors.

Video: Frisaro on Marlins' offseason plans for Realmuto

Working in the Marlins' favor is that the state of catching in the game right now is weak, with many clubs needing a boost, and likely top free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal has done himself no favors with his high-profile struggles in the postseason. Wilson Ramos and Jonathan Lucroy are available as well, but neither is of Realmuto's caliber.

Possible fits: Rays, Red Sox, Nationals, Astros, Rockies, Brewers, Braves

SP Madison Bumgarner, Giants
This can't happen until the Giants name a new general manager, and in some ways it's difficult to envision the new hire arriving and immediately trying to move such an iconic player. Then again, the reason San Francisco even needs a new GM in the first place is that it has finished last and fourth in the past two years. Since the 2016 All-Star break, only the Orioles and White Sox have fewer wins. Change is coming -- and Bumgarner becomes a free agent after 2019.

Video: LAD@SF: Bumgarner K's Kemp to avoid early damage

Possible fits: Yankees, Braves, Angels, Astros, Brewers, Nationals

3B Nolan Arenado, Rockies
We'll admit that the Rockies don't seem likely to want to move Arenado, especially since their weak offense was already an issue even with him, and their main goal ought to be a long-term extension to keep him in Denver alongside Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, and a good young starting rotation for many years to come. That said, he's entering his final year before free agency, and if they can't reach an agreement, they might not want to simply watch him leave next offseason -- and young Ryan McMahon is ready now.

Possible fits: Phillies, Braves, Indians (if Jose Ramirez plays second), Cardinals, Angels

Video: NL WC: Arenado robs Bryant on remarkable diving stop

1B Paul Goldschmidt, D-Backs
1B Jose Abreu, White Sox
1B Brandon Belt, Giants
1B/RF Jose Martinez, Cardinals
1B Carlos Santana/Justin Bour, Phillies

Let's toss in all of these first basemen together, for one very big reason: the list of free-agent first basemen this offseason is grim. Pearce, Lucas Duda and Matt Adams have their uses, but there might not be a single starting quality first baseman out there. If you want one, you'll need to get one via trade.

In some cases, these are strong hitters in their 30s entering the final years of their contracts (Goldschmidt, Abreu). In others, it's the Phillies desperately needing to move one or both of Santana or Bour to allow Rhys Hoskins to come back to first from the outfield, improving the defense. The Cardinals would do well to find an American League home for the defensively challenged Martinez, while the Giants, if they decide to move Bumgarner, might just want to do it all and trade the constantly underrated Belt too.

Possible fits: Red Sox, Angels, Mariners, Yankees, Twins, Rockies

LF Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
Yes, Schwarber will forever be a legend in Chicago because of what he did in the 2016 World Series, but there was an argument to trade him that offseason, and there remains one today, especially since the firing of hitting coach Chili Davis seems unlikely to be the only change made to what ended up being an unsatisfying offense.

Video: CIN@CHC: Schwarber's homer leads to limbo in 'pen

While Schwarber did improve his defense somewhat, he's turned out to be more of a good player than a great one, with large career platoon splits (.349 OBP/.509 SLG vs righties, just .300 OBP/.308 SLG vs lefties) and probably better suited to some time at DH in the AL -- especially if the Cubs can get pitching in return. He still has three more years left before free agency.

Possible fits: Astros, Rays, Twins, Mariners (if free agent Nelson Cruz departs)

RF Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers
Speaking of corner outfielders who rely far more on slugging value than defense, Castellanos has one more year before free agency, and he just hit .298/.354/.500 with 23 home runs for Detroit. (Along with negative-25 Outs Above Average, the lowest mark in the game.) The rebuilding Tigers are unlikely to contend in his final year, and he would also fit best on an AL team looking to add some slugging and has DH time available. 

Possible fits: Astros, Rays, Twins, Mariners

2B Scooter Gennett, Reds
2B/OF Whit Merrifield, Royals
2B Cesar Hernandez, Phillies

Need a second baseman? There are actually decent options in the free-agent market -- DJ LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie, Brian Dozier or Daniel Murphy -- but teams might also be interested in this younger trio, who are team-controlled for one (Gennett), two (Hernandez), or four (Merrifield) years. 

Video: CLE@KC: Merrifield singles to take MLB lead in hits

If it's power you want, Gennett turned himself from a light-hitting Brewer into a slugging Red, putting up a line of .303/.351/.508 and 50 home runs over the past two years. Merrifield doesn't have that power, but he's stolen 79 bases in 2017-18 and can also play the outfield, to go with his .296/.347/.449 line. Hernandez has spent the past three years as a league-average bat, setting a career-high with 15 homers in 2018, and the Phillies might be motivated to make room to get Scott Kingery back to his natural second-base position.

Possible fits: Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, Red Sox, Twins, Rockies

SP Jon Gray, Rockies
Finally, a change-of-scenery starter. Gray looked like he'd be the next Rockies ace, but he's clearly been surpassed by Kyle Freeland and German Marquez, and he didn't even make Colorado's National League Division Series roster. It's not even about Coors Field in Gray's case, because his career splits are about even. It's that he's been so up and down in his short career that he was even sent to the Minors last summer, yet still had a strikeout rate (24.6 percent) as high as Noah Syndergaard or Clayton Kershaw.

Gray wouldn't come cheaply, because he's still young, talented and would come with three more years of control before free agency. Then again, this could be a good avenue for the Rockies to add the offense or relief pitching they badly need, and a team like the Astros might do wonders to bring out the best in Gray.

Possible fits: Astros, Twins, A's, Brewers, Cubs, Nationals, Mariners

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.

Each team's most exciting postseason win

MLB.com @williamfleitch

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

Thus, today at The Thirty, inspired by that game, we're taking a look at the most exciting postseason win of the divisional era (since 1969) for each MLB team. This isn't necessarily the biggest win or most important win. It's just the most viscerally exciting one. Every team's got at least one. Some have plenty.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: 1993 World Series, Game 6: Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6
There's actually a temptation here to go with Game 4 of this series, when the Blue Jays scored six runs in the eighth inning to take a 15-14 lead that would become the final score … but come on, a ninth-inning comeback that ends in a World Series title has to be the pick.

Video: '93 WS, Gm 6 PHI@TOR: Carter's walk-off WS homer

Orioles: 1969 ALCS, Game 2: Orioles 1, Twins 0 (11 innings)
How different was baseball 50 years ago? Orioles pitcher Dave McNally threw an 11-inning shutout in the first-ever ALCS. The Orioles won on a walkoff single by Curt Motton, who had 89 career RBIs over eight seasons. He got the hit off Ron Perranoski, the game's first reliever, who came in with two outs in the 11th.

Rays: 2008 ALCS, Game 2: Rays 9, Red Sox 8 (11 innings)
After losing Game 1 at home to the defending champs, the Rays fell behind 2-0 and 3-2, blew leads of 5-3 and 8-6, yet somehow hung in through 11 innings -- thanks in part to secret weapon rookie David Price -- before winning on Melvin Upton Jr.'s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. The Rays would take a 3-1 series lead before finally eking out the series in Game 7.

Red Sox: 2004 ALCS, Game 4: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4 (12 innings)
It's not like the Game 5 14-inning marathon wasn't a stunner either, but the Dave Roberts steal is going to live longer than all of us.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm 4: Roberts sets up, scores tying run

Yankees: 2001 World Series, Game 5: Yankees 3, D-backs 2 (12 innings)
So many games this series to pick from, but this is the one that had Yankee Stadium roaring the loudest.

Video: 2001WS Gm5: Brosius ties the game in the 9th

AL CENTRAL

Indians: 1995 World Series, Game 3: Indians 7, Braves 6 (11 innings)
It ended with Eddie Murray's walk-off single in the 11th, but it was wild long before that, with the Braves scoring three in the eighth to take their first lead of the game and the Indians tying it right back up in the next inning.

Royals: 2014 AL Wild Card Game: Royals 9, A's 8 (12 innings)
No Denkinger Game here. The Royals were toast in this game, trailing 7-3 headed into the bottom of the eighth. They scored three that inning, followed by the vroom-vroom Jarrod Dyson steal in the ninth that helped score the tying run. The A's then took the lead again in the top of the 12th, but the Royals won it in bottom half on Salvador Perez's single. They would win their next seven postseason games en route to the World Series.

Video: AL WC: Royals advance to ALDS on Perez's walk-off hit

Tigers: 1972 ALCS, Game 4: Tigers 4, A's 3 (10 innings)
No one remembers this game, mainly because the Tigers ended up losing the series, but the A's scored two in the top of the 10th to take a 3-1 lead. Detroit came back, largely because of an error by second baseman Gene Tenace, and won it on a walkoff single from Jim Northrup. This wild 10-inning postseason game still finished in three hours, four minutes, by the way.

Twins: 1991 World Series, Game 7: Twins 1, Braves 0 (10 innings)
Obviously.

White Sox: 2005 World Series, Game 3: White Sox 7, Astros 5 (14 innings)
Every game in this series was great -- it's the closest four-game sweep you'll ever see -- but this was the epic 14-inning game with Geoff Blum's homer in the top of the 14th that barely hung on. Forty-three players were used in this game.

AL WEST

Angels: 2002 World Series, Game 6: Angels 6, Giants 5
The Russ Ortiz keep-the-ball game, the Angels were down 5-0 and facing elimination heading into the bottom of the seventh. Two three-run innings later, they forced a Game 7 and won their first (and only) title.

Astros: 2017 World Series, Game 5: Astros 13, Dodgers 12 (10 innings)
We still can't believe this game happened.

Video: WS2017 Gm5: Astros come together to steal Game 5

Athletics: 1973 World Series, Game 3: A's 3, Mets 2 (11 innings)
It can be tough to pick one game when a team has lost 11 of its last 12 postseason series, so we'll go back to the 1970s, when the A's came back from a 2-0 deficit to win in the 11th inning in a game that featured Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando, Rusty Staub, Bud Harrelson and Willie Mays.

Mariners: 1995 ALDS, Game 5: Mariners 6, Yankees 5 (11 innings)
We all just remember the walk-off now, but this game had five lead changes leading up to the final wild play.

Rangers: 2011 ALCS, Game 2: Rangers 7, Tigers 3 (11 innings)
This series, strangely, had two different extra-inning games that the Rangers won by four runs. This was the most thrilling one, ending on Nelson Cruz's grand slam off poor Ryan Perry.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Cruz wins it with a walk-off slam in 11th

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: 1992 National League Championship Series, Game 7: Braves 3, Pirates 2
Honestly, Pirates fans, I'm sorry to even bring this up.

Marlins: 2003 NLCS, Game 6: Marlins 8, Cubs 3
Sure, to Cubs fans this is a nightmare, but from the Marlins' perspective, this is one of the most amazing postseason comebacks of all time. (Sure, the answer here is probably Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, but that'd be too easy.

Mets: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Mets 6, Red Sox 5 (10 innings)
Authors have written novels specifically about this game.

Nationals: 2012 NLDS, Game 4: Nationals 2, Cardinals 1
A taut, well-pitched game that ended in Jayson Werth's big blast, which everyone thought would send the Nationals to the NLCS the next night (it didn't).

Phillies: 2008 NLCS, Game 4: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5
If you needed to explain the appeal of baseball to an alien, showing them the Matt Stairs homer in the eighth inning of this game would be a great place to start.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Stairs wallops a two-run homer to right

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: 1982 ALCS, Game 5: Brewers 4, Angels 3
The first World Series trip was clinched by Cecil Cooper's staggering single in the seventh inning of a decisive game.

Cardinals: 2011 World Series, Game 6: Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11 innings)
The second-easiest call on this entire list.

Cubs: 2016 World Series, Game 7: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10 innings)
The easiest call on this entire list.

Video: Must C Championship: Cubs win the 2016 World Series

Pirates: 1979 NLCS, Game 2: Pirates 3, Reds 2 (10 innings)
The day after an extra-inning game, the Pirates played another one -- a back-and-forth battle in which the Pirates took the lead on Dave Parker's RBI single in the 10th and held on with Don Robinson in the bottom half.

Reds: 1975 World Series, Game 7: Reds 4, Red Sox 3
The dirty secret is that this game was just as exciting as Game 6, but nobody talks about it nearly as much, because more people are from the Boston area than the Cincinnati area.

NL WEST

D-backs: 2001 World Series, Game 7: D-backs 3, Yankees 2
There are a shocking number of blown saves by Mariano Rivera on this list.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

Dodgers: 1977 NLCS, Game 3: Dodgers 6, Phillies 5
The Kirk Gibson moment is the great moment, but this one, which featured a wild three-run comeback in the top of the ninth with two outs, may have been even more of a nail-biter.

Giants: 2014 NLDS, Game 2: Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18 innings)
It seems impossible that a postseason game could go 18 innings. The hero of this game remains Yusmiero Petit, who sneaked in a one-hitter over six innings before the Giants won it in the 18th.

Padres: 1984 NLCS, Game 5: Padres 6, Cubs 3
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth, but Leon Durham's error opened the floodgates, and the Padres were off to their first World Series.

Rockies: 2007 NL West Tiebreaker Game: Rockies 9, Padres 8 (13 innings)
Not technically a postseason game, but it doesn't matter, because Matt Holliday didn't touch the plate, and it didn't matter.

Video: Holliday scores the game-winning run

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.