Braves-Dodgers Game 4 FAQ (Live, TBS)
LOS ANGELES -- The Braves had a prime opportunity to push the Dodgers to the brink of elimination, but Cody Bellinger's game-tying three-run homer in the eighth inning of Los Angeles' eventual 6-5 win in Game 3 made the National League Championship Series a lot more interesting.
Atlanta still holds a 2-1 series lead, but it'll have to find a way to win at Dodger Stadium, a place where the Braves have lost 13 of their last 14 games. The Dodgers will look to continue that trend with Julio Urías on the mound in Game 4 on Wednesday. The Braves will counter with a bullpen game before likely handing the ball to their ace, Max Fried, in Game 5 on Thursday.
All three games of the series have been decided during the winning team’s last at-bat, so expect some more drama moving forward.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know heading into Game 4.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 4 begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 PT on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium and it will be televised on TBS. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What are the starting lineups?
Braves: Freddie Freeman broke out of his mini slump with a three-hit effort on Tuesday and Austin Riley delivered another key extra-base hit. Offense hasn’t been a problem for the Braves, who could benefit from getting a look at Urías during his relief appearance in Game 2 on Sunday.
1. Dansby Swanson, SS
2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
3. Ozzie Albies, 2B
4. Austin Riley, 3B
5. Eddie Rosario, LF
6. Adam Duvall, CF
7. Joc Pederson, RF
8. Travis d’Arnaud, C
9. Jesse Chavez, P
Dodgers: With the Braves turning to a bullpen game, L.A. is going with its best lineup so far this postseason.
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Trea Turner, 2B
4. Will Smith, C
5. Gavin Lux, CF
6. Justin Turner, 3B
7. Cody Bellinger, 1B
8. Chris Taylor, LF
9. Julio Urías, P
Who are the starting pitchers?
Braves: Atlanta originally announced that Huascar Ynoa would be the opener in what is planned as a bullpen game, but he was a late scratch (shoulder inflammation) and the right-handed Chavez will go in his place. Left-handers A.J. Minter and Drew Smyly are likely in line to relieve Chavez as a bridge to the late innings. Minter recorded seven strikeouts over three scoreless innings when he made his only professional start against the Dodgers in Game 5 of last year’s NLCS.
Dodgers: Urías (20-3, 2.96 ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers after pitching in relief in Game 2. Urías will be making his fourth appearance of the postseason. Due to a heavier workload, the left-hander’s usage will be something to monitor.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Braves: If the Braves get to the seventh inning with a lead, they will once again lean on Tyler Matzek and Luke Jackson, who are the first pitchers in franchise history to appear in each of the team’s first seven postseason games. But with the three days that separated the end of the NL Division Series and the start of the NLCS, Atlanta won’t shy away from using them.
Matzek and Jackson remain the top setup options for closer Will Smith. But Chris Martin’s effective outing in Game 2 might lead to him getting a high-leverage situation within the next couple days. Jacob Webb could also be used to help take some strain off the main relievers.
Dodgers: Urías will go as long as he can, but the Dodgers will likely be aware of the fact that the left-hander will be pitching in his fourth game in 11 days. But L.A. should have plenty of firepower in the bullpen as Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol weren’t used in Game 3. Kenley Jansen threw 17 pitches as he recorded the save on Tuesday, but will be available to pitch in back-to-back games, if needed.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Braves: Everyone will be available.
Dodgers: They will likely stay away from right-hander Evan Phillips, who tossed 34 pitches over 1 2/3 innings in Game 3. Aside from that, the Dodgers' bullpen should be ready to go.
Any injuries of note?
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 on Oct. 12 and he will likely remain there at least through Friday.
Dodgers: Max Muncy (left elbow) and Clayton Kershaw (left elbow) will not play in the NLCS. Muncy is hoping to return for a potential World Series, though that still seems unlikely. Kershaw is out for the remainder of the postseason. Justin Turner is still dealing with a nerve issue in his neck, but the third baseman started in Game 3 (0-for-3 with one walk) and he is expected to be back in the lineup for Game 4.
Who is hot and who is not?
Braves: Freeman was 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in this series before recording three opposite-field singles in Game 3. Eddie Rosario has hit .400 (10-for-25) while accounting for Soler’s absence in the leadoff spot. Riley has a 1.067 OPS through seven playoff games.
Dodgers: Corey Seager is dominating the NLCS for a second consecutive season. The star shortstop has hit a two-run homer in the first inning in back-to-back games. His 13 postseason homers are tied with Justin Turner for the most in franchise history.
On the other hand, Trea Turner and Justin Turner continue to struggle at the plate. The Turners are a combined 10-for-77 this postseason.
Anything else fans might want to know?
In series with the current 2-3-2 format, teams that have lost Games 1 and 2 on the road but then won Game 3 at home have rallied to win the series nine out of 34 times (26%). This excludes 2020, when the LCS and World Series were held at neutral sites.