The NLCS returns to Truist Park Saturday night and the Atlanta Braves will have another opportunity to close out the Dodgers. The Braves currently hold a 3-2 edge in the series, but failed in their first attempt to close it out falling 11-2 in Game 5. The Braves took both of the previous games played at Truist Park scoring walk-off victories in Games 1 and 2.
Ian Anderson will get the start for Atlanta and will be trying to bounce back after a tough start in Game 2. Anderson lasted just three innings allowing three hits, three walks and two runs. He did a good job of minimizing the damage but his command wasn’t there and Brian Snitker gave him a quick hook and turned the game over to the bullpen.
After falling behind early in Game 5, Snitker was able to avoid using any of his key relievers in the loss. With Friday’s off day, all of Atlanta’s key relief options will come into Game 6 with at least two days of rest. With those options available, it won’t be surprising if Anderson gets the quick hook again if needed.
There has been plenty of intrigue from the Dodgers in the lead up to Game 6. Max Scherzer was originally scheduled to start Saturday’s game but was scratched due to arm fatigue. Scherzer closed out the NLDS on October 14 with a ninth inning appearance in Game 5 against the Giants. He started Game 2 of the NLCS on October 17 but lasted just 4 1/3 innings allowing two hits and two runs.
With Scherzer unavailable, the Dodgers will instead turn to Walker Buehler who will be making his second career start on three-days rest. The first time came in the NLDS against the Giants where he allowed three hits and one run in 4 1/3 innings. He then had six days between that start and Game 3 of the NLCS. Buehler failed to make it out of the fourth inning in that start allowing six hits and four runs, although only two were earned, in 3 2/3 innings.
Los Angeles didn’t have a whole lot of options given their win or go home position. They will be looking for Buehler to give them a few good innings before turning back over to the bullpen. Friday’s off day certainly aids them in that regard. The Dodgers also added veteran lefty David Price to their NLCS roster as an injury replacement for Joe Kelly Friday. He would give them another potential multi-inning option for Game 6.
With so many moving parts for the Dodgers, it would be a huge boost for the Braves if they can strike early and put the pressure on Dave Roberts. Atlanta has done a good job in the series scoring early. That will be key again Saturday.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, October 23, 8:08 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network