Dodgers-Braves G3: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

October 6th, 2018

ATLANTA -- The Dodgers are in Atlanta looking to sweep the National League Division Series after Friday's 3-0 win over the Braves, who have not scored during either of the first two games of this best-of-five set.

When the series shifts to SunTrust Park tonight, the Braves will be challenged by confident rookie right-hander , who may now be the Dodgers' best starting pitcher. But it will be hard for Buehler to top the starts made by and , who had little trouble against an Atlanta lineup that had much success against southpaws during the regular season.

:: NLDS schedule and results ::

Braves manager Brian Snitker made a switch Saturday, deciding to start left-hander instead of . Newcomb will make his first career postseason start after throwing two scoreless relief innings in Game 1. The lefty was one strike shy of no-hitting the Dodgers on July 29 in Atlanta.

Snitker confirmed he will tweak his batting order by placing in the two-hole and moving down to the fifth spot. Inciarte's speed could provide more run-producing opportunities for Freddie Freeman and .

Starting lineups

Dodgers: Although the Braves are starting a left-hander, manager Dave Roberts said he would tweak his typical right-handed-hitting platoon because of the potential of a short start for Newcomb (who pitched relief in Game 1) and the likelihood of seeing right-handers and Gausman out of the bullpen.

1. Chris Taylor, LF

2. , 3B

3. , 1B

4. Manny Machado, SS

5. Matt Kemp, RF

6. , CF

7. , 2B

8. , C

9. , P

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Braves: Snitker is shaking things up, both because of the right-hander on the mound and because his team is in need of a spark.

1. , LF

2. Ender Inciarte, CF

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B

4. Nick Markakis, RF

5. Johan Camargo, 3B

6. , C

7. , 2B

8. Charlie Culberson, SS

9. Sean Newcomb, P

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Who are the starting pitchers?

Dodgers:
Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA) pitched 6 2/3 brilliant innings in the tiebreaker game against the Rockies on Monday. Down the stretch, the rookie right-hander has been the Dodgers' best pitcher. Buehler posted a 2.03 ERA during the second half, coming through with his best performances when they've meant the most. It's unlikely the 24-year-old will be fazed by his first playoff start.

"Obviously this will be my first playoff game," Buehler said. "But [Game] 163 has got to be somewhere between a regular game and a playoff game. I'm just going with the same game plan and try and stay under control."

Braves: Newcomb (12-9, 3.90 ERA) bumps Gausman in a late switch. Newcomb nearly no-hit the Dodgers in July and tossed two scoreless innings of relief in Game 1.

"You know, the situation is kind of dire right now," Snitker said. "I told [Newcomb] that we need you to get this thing off the ground. You don't need to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning with a strike left or whatever. We just want to get this thing flying and be all hands on deck."

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

Dodgers:
worked a crisp ninth on Friday night for his first save of the postseason. and have yet to pitch. They're both expected to fill critical late-inning roles as well.

Braves: With Saturday's off-day, the Braves should have their full assortment of relievers available tonight. , Chad Sobotka and Touki Toussaint have each made their postseason debuts within this series. The experience could prove beneficial if any of these rookies needs to pitch in a high-leverage situation. Also, Gausman will be in the bullpen.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?

Dodgers:
Los Angeles got eight innings from starter Kershaw on Friday, after getting seven from Ryu on Thursday. Throw in an off-day on Saturday, and everyone is going to be fresh.

Braves: Fried has appeared in both of the first two games. But his appearance in Game 2 consisted of the one pitch he threw to induce a Muncy groundout. So with the off-day, he should be fine. Mike Foltynewicz will not be used, because he would start Game 4 if the Braves extend the series.

Any injuries of note?

Dodgers:
None.

Braves:Dansby Swanson's absence because of a torn ligament in his left hand has forced Culberson to play short and consequently weakened what is a very thin bench. The top two pinch-hit options are the left-handed-hitting  and whichever of the two right-handed-hitting primary catchers -- Tyler Flowers or Suzuki -- is not in the lineup. got a sixth-inning pinch-hit appearance on Friday. Adams was added to the expanded roster in September to primarily be a pinch-runner. He's now drawing at-bats that were envisioned for before he struggled mightily over the season's final two months.

Who is hot and who is not?

Dodgers:
Taylor will probably replace leading off and playing left field. Taylor's two-out, two-strike single in the ninth inning broke up Newcomb's no-hitter on July 29. He did not bat in either of the first two games of this series. Since joining the Dodgers, Freese is 13-for-28 (.464) with a 1.331 OPS against left-handed pitchers. Although Grandal homered in Game 2, if starts any game in this series it will be this one against the left-hander.

Braves: Acuna had two of the three hits the Braves totaled in Game 2. Freeman has gone hitless in the seven at-bats that have followed his first-inning single in Game 1. But he might get back on track against Buehler's high-octane four-seamer, which averaged 96.2 mph during the regular season.

Against pitches clocked at 95+ mph, Freeman hit .351 (26-for-74) and produced a .514 slugging percentage. Camargo hit .310 (9-for-29) and slugged .552 against such pitches.

Anything else fans might want to know?

Before the Braves changed starting pitchers, the Dodgers scheduled a simulated game this afternoon at SunTrust Park.