The MLB Breakdown offers data-driven analysis using the FantasyLabs Tools and predictive metrics to highlight notable players.
Saturday features a single-game Showdown slate starting at 8:08 pm ET. We will be using Bales Model to highlight some of the top options to consider.
The Atlanta Braves will have Ian Anderson on the mound tonight with another chance of knocking out the defending champs and clinching the NL pennant. Anderson has made two appearances in which he has been moderately effective. In eight innings, Anderson has allowed six hits, two earned runs, and struck out eight. Both runs came via a two-run home run from Corey Seager. Anderson is faced with a tough task as the Dodgers scored 11 runs last game. The Dodgers are projected for an implied runs total of 4.6.
Walker Buehler has been named the Dodgers’ starter in the crucial NLCS Game 6. It was previously scheduled to be Max Scherzer, but the Dodgers announced late Friday that Scherzer would not be ready to go because of fatigue. Buehler will be working on short rest, although he only threw 76 pitches last start. Buehler has not been as effective this postseason as he was during the regular season, but he is the Dodgers’ best option. The Braves are projected for a low implied runs total of 3.5. David Price has joined the NLCS roster in place of the injury Joe Kelly and is an available option out of the bullpen, too.
After struggling most of the series, Trea Turner finally broke out of his postseason slump with a three-hit performance last game. Turner came over with Scherzer in a midseason deal from the Washington Nationals and has added more speed and consistency to the Dodgers’ lineup. Turner stole 32 bases during the regular season. If he is able to reach base tonight, look for Turner to use his pace effectively on the base paths. My only concern with Turner is that in 11 games this postseason, he has alternated collecting hits and not reaching base every game. If this trend continues, he might have a tough day at the office.
Will Smith, like most of the Dodgers’ hitters, has struggled this series against the Braves, as he’s reached base only once in his last nine plate appearances.
Freddie Freeman has been very reliable for the Braves. In the last three games, Freeman has collected six hits including two home runs and a double. Although Buehler only threw 3 2/3 innings last start, Freeman went 2-for-2 against the Dodgers’ righty. Freeman is the projected for the highest point total from the Braves on Bales Model.
Another Braves batter worth strong consideration today is second baseman Ozzie Albies. Albies has collected a hit in each of his last eight games and has scored a run in his last six. Like Freeman, Albies has been very reliable for the Braves offense and will play a pivotal part again today.
Value and Punts
A player coming off perhaps the best performance of his career is Chris Taylor from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chris Taylor is coming off the biggest performance of his career, hitting three home runs and adding a single in Game 5. Taylor is expected to bat in the bottom half of the Dodgers’ order.
Joc Pederson is a boom-or-bust play who may be worth a look tonight. Pederson has hit three home runs this postseason and the the only time he did not reach base this series was last game.
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Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Pictured: Walker Buehler