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We have got a two-game LCS slate for Tuesday, with first pitch at 5:08 p.m. ET.
Atlanta Braves (Charlie Morton) at Los Angeles Dodgers -178 (Walker Buehler)
The clear favorite on both sites is Buehler, which makes sense. The NLCS has been an unders series and the ALCS has been an overs series, so most likely your starter is coming from this game.
Buehler has yet to make an appearance in this series and last pitched a week ago against the San Francisco Giants. With the format of three games in three days, the Dodgers have to hope for some length out of Buehler, as Dave Roberts does not seem to trust his bullpen.
While Buehler did not pitch great in the NLDS, his leash is longer than most starters have seen in this postseason. That is just a credit to how good of a pitcher he is. This Braves’ team is a combined 9-for-51 off of Buehler with 14 strikeouts and two home runs. The home runs have come from Freddie Freeman and Joc Pederson.
He hits for nine ProTrends and is the biggest favorite of the night.
I would pretty easily say Buehler is the safest play of the night and could be 90%+ owned in cash games.
This is pretty intuitive, but Morton is the second-best play. He can rack up strikeouts, with 14 in 9 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He also last pitched a week ago.
It will be interesting to see how Morton is managed with the Braves being up 2-0 and knowing there could potentially be three games in three nights. How aggressive will the Braves want to be in pulling Morton?
He has some pretty good lifetime numbers against the Dodgers, too. They are 26-for-116 with one home run off of him, courtesy of Mookie Betts. Some of the big hitting has been missing from the Dodgers in this series, at least from what we saw in the regular season.
It would be pretty tough to convince yourself to play Morton in cash games, but I could see him as actually being a No. 1 option in GPPs. In a GPP, I think you have to consider pivoting off of Buehler.
Houston Astros (Zack Greinke) at Boston Red Sox -125 (Nick Pivetta)
The Astros’ longest start in this series was in Game 1 and lasted for eight outs. The Red Sox have afforded some deeper starts in Games 2 and 3 because they have jumped out to such large leads.
Greinke threw an inning in the ALDS and 2 1/3 innings on October 3rd, the last day of the regular season. The last time he threw anything remotely resembling significant pitches was September 19th and it was only 68 pitches total. Even if he goes vintage Greinke, he just never strikes people out anymore. I would envision a quick hook for him even if things are going well.
Pivetta is a little more interesting. He pitched four innings in relief October 10th and was dominant. He was showing some raw emotion at the importance of those outs and was the beneficiary of the peculiar Kevin Kiermaier ground-rule double. Still, he went four innings with three hits and seven strikeouts.
That makes him at least considerable, more so for a GPP. If he were to replicate something like that, it would pay off.
The Red Sox have not had to tax their bullpen in Games 2 and 3. Obviously every game in the playoffs is critical, but 3-1 is a big difference from 2-2.
If you are playing a bunch of lineups, maybe a little bit of exposure to Pivetta makes sense. I definitely will not be loading up on him.
Kyle Schwarber is the best play of the night. He has a hit in every game in this series so far and blasted another grand slam for Boston Monday night. He is definitely a hitter who can be frustrating to watch at the plate and could put up a bagel. I like that he could be only seeing right-handers tonight. He hits for five ProTrends as well.
I will keep mentioning that Michael Brantley is too cheap. He does not do a lot of the damage for these Astros, but he will continue to be their 2-hitter. With the contact that he makes, that should put him in positions to score runs and RBIs.
Of the top-ten hitters for the night, nine of them are from the Astros-Red Sox game. The Lineup Optimizer is only suggesting to pick your pitchers from the NLCS and all of your hitters from the ALCS. Jose Altuve had a major Game 1 and has disappeared in Games 2 and 3. That should not be too shocking, as he goes the Astros go. He can be a slate breaker, with his ability to provide both power and speed. He hits for five ProTrends and is 1-for-4 with two walks off of Pivetta lifetime.
I think Chris Taylor is just seeing the ball really well in this postseason. He lulled a bit against the Giants, but has been on base three times in each of the first two games of the NLCS, with a double in each game. Not to mention a stolen base in each game, too! A lot of times in the Giants’ series he was making loud outs, just at people. He is expensive for an 8-hole hitter, but I think the sites are just recognizing that he is producing right now.
Whoever plays center field, projected to be Jake Meyers, for the Astros is going to be the best punt play. They will be near minimum salary and if they produce anything for you, should hit for value. He hits for seven ProTrends.
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Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images
Pictured: Kyle Schwarber