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Championship Series Day 4 Preview

NLCS Game 4: Brewers at Dodgers

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 4th day of League Championship play. Yesterday saw the Red Sox draw even with the Astros, as that series shifts to Houston after today’s off day. In the National League, the Dodgers and Brewers have headed to Los Angeles to continue their 7 game series tied at a game apiece. Tonight’s contest begins at 7:39 ET.

Dodger’s Starter

Rookie sensation Walker Buehler gets the ball in Game 3, as the Dodgers look to gain the 2-1 advantage. Buehler is coming off a rough start in the NLDS against the Braves, where he went just 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks, with one of the hits being a 2-out grand slam to Ronald Acuña Jr. That second inning included a bases loaded walk to the opposing pitcher before that grand slam, while his other 4 innings were perfect.

Such is baseball I suppose.

On the season, Buehler was magnificent, going 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA over 23 starts and a relief appearance. Entering the season as the Dodgers’ number 1 prospect, he didn’t disappoint, showing the good command (2.42 BB/9) coupled with a good ability to get strikeouts (9.90 K/9) and keep the ball on the ground (50.0% GB rate). I’m sure the Dodgers, and their many fans, will be happy to see him paired with Clayton Kershaw for years to come (after Kershaw opts out and re-signs for a lot of money this winter).

Buehler pitched against the Brewers just once this season, and did quite well. Over 7 very strong innings, he allowed just 1 run on 5 hits, walking none and striking out 7. Yet he still took the loss as Wade Miley out-dueled him in a 1-0 Brewers’ win.

Brewers’ Starter

The Brewers counter with Jhoulys Chacin in a very important game for the Brewers to win. After letting the Dodgers split the opening 2 games back home, they need at least 1 win in Los Angeles to be able to get the series back in Milwaukee, and I’m sure they’d like to get more than 1 win in LA.

Chacin looked very strong against the Rockies in his first start, throwing 5 shutout innings on just 3 hits with 3 strikeouts, although he did also walk 3 batters. But it was still good enough to earn the win game 2 to allow the Brewers to head to Denver with the 2-0 series lead.

The veteran Chacin put up a good season in his first year in Milwaukee. Through a Major League high 35 starts, Chacin went 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA over 192.2 innings. He was really good against batters the first time through the order, holding them to a .655 OPS. The second time through that climbs to a .668 mark, before jumping to a .762 OPS the third time through. Given the Milwaukee bullpen, I don’t think anyone expects him to be in the game when the Dodgers roll up to the plate a third time through.

Chacin faced the Dodgers just once this season, and it was easily his worst start of the season. He went 4.1 innings, allowing 9 runs (8 earned) on just 5 hits but he walked 4 and gave up 3 home runs - one each to Bellinger, Puig and Pederson. The Dodgers ended up winning that one 21-5 as they launched 7 home runs in total. I think everyone in Brewer land wants to pretend that game never happened.

Other Notes

Josh Hader should be available out of the Brewers bullpen tonight. He pitched 3 innings in game 1, but also pitched on back to back days just 3 times all year, so he was obviously going to be unavailable for game 2. One would guess that he pitches today, has tomorrow off, then pitches again in game 5, and in game 6 back in Milwaukee if it gets that far. It would be tough to imagine him staying glued to the bench if it gets to a game 7 though, back to back days be damned.

With Chacin on the mound for the Brewers, this is the first game that a righty is starting against the Dodgers in this series. This means that the starting lineup will feature Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson instead of Matt Kemp, Chris Taylor and David Freese. Yasiel Puig started Game 2, and probably starts this one too.

Find the Link

Find the link between Chacin, Buehler and the 14th round.