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Division Series Day 5 Preview

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ALDS Game 3s, and 1 NLDS Game 4

MLB: NLDS-Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to day 5 of the LDS grind. The Brewers finished up their sweep of the Rockies, sending them home earlier than they wanted.

Today we see if the Astros or Dodgers can punch their ticket to the Championship Series, while the Red Sox and Yankees move their show to Yankee Stadium and try to get the edge in a tied series.

Things get underway at 1:30 today, so here we go:

Astros @ Cleveland - 1:30 ET

Hazel Mae is in town, and has us hooked up for the lineups

Dallas Keuchel vs Mike Clevinger doesn’t have the same ring to it as the last 2 marquee matchups this series gave us, but it does still feature a former Cy Young winner in Keuchel. As the series shifts to Cleveland, the Astros will look to put the finishing touches on their sweep.

Keuchel continued his return to relevance this season. 2016 was not a good year for the lefty hurler, as he put up a 4.55 ERA over 168 innings coming off his Cy Young season. 2017 saw his ERA drop, but he fought through injuries and only threw 145 innings, albeit at an impressive 2.90 ERA. This year, he eclipsed 200 innings again, and saw his ERA jump back up to 3.74. He’s not the front of a rotation talent he was a few years ago, but he’s a pretty great number 3, which is all he needs to be in this loaded Houston rotation.

Righty Mike Clevinger had his big breakout year this year, finally putting in a full, healthy season at the big league level. He reached 200 innings for the first time in his career, and in doing so became one of 4 Cleveland pitchers to strike out at least 200 batters. In total, he went 13-8 with a 3.02 ERA, half a run better than his FIP. As mentioned before, his strikeout rate was great at 9.32 per 9 innings, and his walks were a bit better than league average at 3.02 per 9. His flyball approach yielded some home runs, but still better than league average at 0.95 per 9 innings.

Cleveland will probably have a short leash on Clevinger in this one as they face elimination, and all hands will be on deck.

Dodgers @ Braves - 4:30 ET

Yesterday’s game was a lot of fun, with the Braves jumping out to the 5-0 lead early on a Ronald Acuña Jr grand slam. The Dodgers clawed back to tie it, but the Braves took the lead for good on a 6th inning Freddie Freeman home run, and the bullpen held that for a 6-5 win in an elimination game. With another elimination game ahead of them today (and maybe another one on Wednesday), it’ll be an exciting game to watch.

Getting the start for the Dodgers is left hander Rich Hill. Hill is still enjoying the success of his late career renaissance, as he went 11-5 with a 3.66 ERA. He still struggles with injuries, but he also threw over 130 innings and pitched in 25 games for the second straight season this year, the first time he has ever been able to do that. The 38 year old is striking out as many as ever, while limiting walks better than league average. However, as a flyball pitcher, he allows his share of home runs, and was actually above league average this season at 1.36 per 9 innings.

Going for the Braves is Game 1 starter Mike Foltynewicz. Folty struggled badly in Game 1, allowing 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 homers across 2 innings last Thursday. So he’s pitching on a day short of rest, but at the same time, he only threw 50 pitches in that game too, so the Braves are hoping he can rebound, because they need a great start out of him to stay alive.

Red Sox @ Yankees - 7:40 ET

The Red Sox/Yankees series heads to New York, as both teams looks to gain the upper hand, although one could argue the upper hand is already the Yankees with 2 of the 3 remaining games in New York.

The Red Sox send mid-season acquisition Nathan Eovaldi to the mound in this one. Eovaldi was fabulous in his 54 innings with the Red Sox, going 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA. He struck out 48 against 12 walks, allowing just 3 home runs, which was his huge culprit in Tampa Bay earlier in the season as he allowed 11 in 57 innings there. Despite throwing in the upper-90s, Eovaldi has always perplexed by not generating many strikeouts, rather finding the success he does with good command and somewhat controlling contact, the traits you’d see with someone whose average fastball is 8 mph slower than his.

The Yankees will counter with AL Wild Card Game starter Luis Severino. Severino threw just 4 innings in that outing, but he was pretty good. He allowed no runs on 2 hits, although he walked 4, and struck out an impressive 7. He was pulled in the 5th after giving up his only 2 hits of the game to open the frame, but Dellin Betances held the fort and the Yankees won 7-2 eliminating Oakland.

Find the Link

Find the link between Rich Hill and Mike Clevinger.