Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Sunday, October 18, 2020 – 8:15pm EST NLCS Game 7 – Globe Life Field
● Braves: Ian Anderson: (3-2 1.95 ERA; Postseason: 1-0 0.00 ERA)
● Dodgers: TBD
The Dodgers have forced a seventh game in the NLCS but are now left with questions on who the Game 7 starter will be. The Braves have Ian Anderson locked in as their starter while the Dodgers haven’t announced their starter as of 10am. Currently, on the few top sportsbooks that have odds fro this matchup, the Dodgers opened up as -130 Moneyline favorites.
The Dodgers, at this time, have three options. Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urias, or Clayton Kershaw. The reality is, all of these guys can pitch in this game along with Brusdar Graterol, who didn’t pitch in Game 6.
First, we’ll talk about the Braves. Ian Anderson has been a gem for the Braves all season long. In the postseason, he hasn’t allowed a single run in 15.2 innings.
In all three postseason starts, the Braves have won Anderson’s starts. However, Anderson struggled a bit against the Dodgers in his last outing. Some would say he’s due to allow a couple runs. The rookie walked five and struck out five while allowing one hit in four innings in his Game 2 start against the Dodgers. He hit 85 pitches in four innings and wasn’t fantastic. Yet, still, he allowed no runs, got out of jams, and kept his scoreless streak intact.
Like many of the Braves starters, walks can become an issue for Anderson but his high ground ball rate and high strikeout rate has helped Anderson work his way out of trouble.
The Braves set up their starting rotation to make sure Max Fried and Ian Anderson would close out the series, giving the Dodgers the best chance to win the series. Fried didn’t get the job done, although he pitched well enough to get the job done. Now it’s Anderson’s turn. A lot of pressure on the rookie.
Now, we don’t know who’s going to start for the Dodgers. It hasn’t been announced but it’ll likely be Tony Gonsolin. The only reason why it won’t be is because of how he pitched last time out.
Gonsolin went 4.1 innings and allowed three hits and three walks with five earned runs and a home run along with seven strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches in 4.1 innings and left the game with the Braves up big. Of course, the Dodgers came back in the bottom of the 9th in that game and fell one run short of getting the tie.
Seeing the Braves hit Gonsolin like that is what’s keeping the Dodgers from announcing their starter for this game.
Julio Urias is another starter who could be an option for the start. Urias went five innings and allowed three hits and a solo one home run in a 15-3 rout of the Braves. Urias still needed 101 pitches to get through five innings but struck out five and walked two in that start.
The Braves have struggled connecting against left-handed pitchers and have a high strikeout percentage against lefties. Those two would be the likely candidates to get the start. If it was my choice, I’d pick Urias. If it were the metrics’ choice, they’d also pick Urias. Clayton Kershaw might be seen late in this game. He’s closed out Game 7’s before. However, the Dodgers need to get to that point first.
Ian Anderson has thrown three starts and hasn’t allowed a single run. He’s been so impressive but after throwing five walks in less than five innings in his last start against the Dodgers, he might potentially crack.
However, no matter who the Dodgers send out to start in this game, it won’t be Walker Buehler who helped the Dodgers win Game 6 to force a Game 7.
The Braves have plenty of offense this season and will face pitchers. If Gonsolin is on the mound, over 3.5 runs for the Braves looks solid as the Braves have a very high weighted batting average against righties this season.
If Urias takes the hill, it still looks nice. Urias needed over 100 pitches to get through five innings against the Braves and was worked on every pitch. The Braves go on rampages from time to time. The Braves could close this game out, but just in case they don’t take their team total over 3.5.