While the American League teams are traveling today, the National League teams are playing their third games in their respective NLDS series. Each game is an elimination game for the home teams who trail 2-0 in the best-of-five series. The Brewers-Rockies game is the afternoon game followed by the Dodgers-Braves.
In the Brewers-Rockies series, the Brewers go with the lefty Wade Miley who has pitched most of the season on a short leash. The Rockies are not pitching their ace Kyle Freeland according to MLB Network and instead will go with German Marquez who is their #2 pitcher. Marquez pitched Monday in the Game #163 tiebreaker game and gave up 4 runs over 4 2/3. Freeland pitched Tuesday in the Wild Card game and today could have been his day to pitch on regular rest, but the Rockies are sticking with their rotation order of Marquez to Freeland. This season, Freeland has been a legitimate ace and one of the top 5 pitchers in the National League. If Marquez and the Rockies can win today, they can change the series momentum with Freeland going on Monday. This is a large gamble for the Rockies in a win-or-go-home game.
“[Marquez’s] day lined up, even though Kyle’s on regular days rest,” Rockies’ manager Bud Black said. “We felt that was the move. Marquez and Freeland, they’ve both pitched [well in that order] in the last number of weeks. And that gives Kyle an extra day’s rest after the short-rest start [in Tuesday’s wild-card game].”
For the Dodgers and Braves game, the rested Braves already pitched their ace and will go with the lefty Sean Newcomb instead of the righty Kevin Gausman. The bad news for the Braves is that the Dodgers will be going with Walker Buehler who has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball. Atlanta has been a better road team, and are back home at SunTrust Park with the odds stacked against them as they have not even pushed one run across the plate in this series suffering back-to-back shutouts, and today go for history of they type you do not want your name next to.
“The situation is kind of dire right now,” Braves’ manager Brian Snitker said. “We need to win. And not that Gausman doesn’t give us that opportunity. We like how Newcomb matches up with them and the success that he’s had against the Dodgers this year.”
With the Dodgers struggles with lefty pitchers, it makes sense to go with Newcomb who was the pitcher credited with nearly no-hitting the Dodgers at the 8 2/3 mark and a pitch count of 134 back in late July. Since that point, Newcomb has struggled with command and possibly fatigue with only 44 1/3 innings and a 5.68 ERA, .810 OPS and a 54.2% BB/IP.