The Dodgers are dealing with a depleted starting rotation, and the Braves will go with their 22-year-old rookie who has a 0.00 ERA in three starts in this postseason. Ian Anderson makes the biggest start of his life and has been very effective in this postseason with a stealth 0.89 WHIP which means he is not even allowing an average of one runner per inning to reach base and he is doing this on the biggest stage. Additionally, Anderson has 22 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings. As of this point in the day, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts still has not posted who his starting pitcher will be.
When Clayton Kershaw was scratched in Game 2 of the NLCS, the matchup was supposed to be Kershaw versus Anderson, and in place of Kershaw, it was righty Tony Gonsolin who was pitching a perfect game through three innings. It all changed in his second time through the order, and he fell apart, giving up 5 runs in the next 1 1/3 innings.
The keys are going to be the Dodgers getting to Anderson and whether the Braves can keep the pressure on the Dodgers pitching. Part of the issue was the postseason slumps by too many of the Dodgers players and finally Mookie Betts is showing some signs of life, but when is Cody Bellinger going to step up? He is batting .238 in the postseason. It has been Corey Seager carrying the Dodgers offense and Joc Pederson is having another solid postseason as he heads into free agency.
For the Braves offense, all of the hype seems to be around Ronald Acuna Jr., but he is batting .233 in the postseason, and it is Travis d’Arnaud, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna who are carrying their offense.
This is the classic game 7 matchup of the winner-takes-all and goes to the World Series. The pressure has to be on the Dodgers and their manager who has his job hanging in the balance.