The 24-year-old southpaw racked up nine strikeouts on the night -- setting a new personal best in the postseason -- while issuing just one walk. He threw 80 pitches in the contest, 56 of them for strikes. All of the damage done against him came via the long ball, with Randy Arozarena blasting a solo shot in the fourth inning and Hunter Renfroe leading off the fifth inning with another. Urias has been spectacular on the whole this postseason, compiling a 1.31 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 25/4 K/BB ratio across 20 ⅔ innings. He could be used again in a relief role in a potential Game 7 should the Series wind up going the distance.
The left-hander walked one and struck out one on the evening. He served up a two-out solo homer to Justin Turner in the opening inning to give the Dodgers an early lead, then gave up a solo blast to Corey Seager in the third inning. Yarbrough wound up throwing only 69 pitches in the contest -- 40 of those for strikes -- before turning the game over to the Rays’ bullpen. He has struggled for the most part during this postseason, compiling a 3.86 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 7/4 K/BB ratio over 14 innings. He’s unlikely to be available again until Game 7 if it’s necessary.
In his last start, Yarbrough earned a victory over the Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS, allowing two runs over five-plus innings of work. Overall on the postseason, he owns a 3.37 ERA and 6/3 K/BB ratio across 10 2/3 innings of work. He'll be opposed by Dodgers' left-hander Julio Urias.
Urias was the obvious choice after he wasn't used in relief during Game 2 on Wednesday. The left-hander has been fantastic this postseason, allowing just one earned run over 16 innings while boasting a 16/3 K/BB ratio. Walker Buehler is starting Game 3 for the Dodgers and they'll go back to Clayton Kershaw for Game 5.
Urias threw the final three innings to close out Game 7 of the NLCS against the Braves on Sunday, but Roberts hasn't ruled out using him if needed. Ideally, that won't be necessary. The Dodgers haven't settled on a Game 2 starter just yet and Urias is in that mix too, potentially.
And why wouldn't they be? Freeman appears on track for his first National League MVP Award after batting .341/.462/.640 with 13 homers and 53 RBI over 60 games during the regular season. He's currently under contract through 2021 and Anthopoulos said there's mutual interest in something getting done. The Braves got Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies to sign below-market contracts in their extensions, so they should be able to afford to give Freeman whatever it takes to make him a Brave for life.
Urias came in to pitch in the top of the seventh, and the left-hander didn't allow a hit while throwing 39 pitches. The 24-year-old pitched exceptionally well in this series, giving up just a run in his eight innings and picking up two victories in the NLCS. Urias will likely make a start or pitch as a bulk pitcher in the World Series, which starts Tuesday against the Rays.
Freeman doubled off of Dustin May in the first inning then came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Travis d’Arnaud. He then led off the eighth inning with a double and was once again driven in by d’Arnaud -- this time on a ground ball. Freeman has been swinging a hot bat this postseason, hitting .306 (11-for-36) with a pair of homers and six RBI through 10 games.
Freeman had some issues early in the game seeing the baseball thanks to the swirling winds in Globe Life Park, but it didn't appear to bother him after getting some eye drops. The likely MVP doubled in Ronald Acuna to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the sixth, and he added some insurance in the eighth with an RBI single. Freeman is scorching the baseball right now, and in the four games so far in the NLCS, he's slashing .429/.529/.929. That'll play.
After having to sit and watch the 11-run top of the first, Urias started out shaky, walking the first two batters he faced. Fortunately, those ended up being his only two walks of the night, though he did still wind up throwing 101 pitches in his five innings. Urias probably won't start again during the NLCS, though he could potentially work a few innings on three days' rest if the series goes to a seventh game.
There was plenty of hard contact against Yarbrough -- including a first-inning homer by Jose Altuve and a sixth-inning homer by Michael Brantley -- but the Rays played excellent defense behind him and the bullpen again held strong as Tampa Bay grabbed a 5-2 victory to go up 3-0 in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. Yarbrough struck out five while scattering three total hits and two walks.
Freeman opened the night's scoring with a fourth-inning two-run homer off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin before adding an RBI single in the Braves' four-run fifth inning. He also went deep in the Braves' NLCS Game 1 victory on Monday night and is now the fourth Braves player with a home run in back-to-back games this postseason, joining Dansby Swanson, Travis d'Arnaud, and Ozzie Albies. Freeman and Albies are the third pair of teammates in MLB history to homer in both Games 1 and 2 of a League Championship Series.
It was the logical way for the Dodgers to go, especially since Clayton Kershaw (back) has been ruled out. Urias has pitched in relief so far this postseason. He threw 68 pitches while allowing an unearned run over five innings in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Padres last Thursday.
Freeman pounced on the fourth pitch of the night from Dodgers starter Walker Buehler -- a 97.3 mph fastball -- and sent it to the right-center field stands at Globe Life Field. The ball had an exit velocity of 111.6 mph, which is the third-hardest hit home run by Freeman since Statcast began tracking such things in 2015. It was also just the second home run off Buehler's four-seam fastball this year. Freeman registered a .431 batting average with nine home runs against fastballs during the condensed 2020 regular season.
Yarbrough tossed five innings of relief in Game 4 of the ALDS last Thursday against the Yankees, so he should be able to go relatively deep on Tuesday if the situation calls for it. The 28-year-old left-hander put up a 3.56 ERA, 1.186 WHIP, and 44/12 K/BB ratio over 55 2/3 innings during the condensed 2020 regular season.
The 24-year-old has been used as a multi-inning reliever out of the bullpen this postseason, firing eight innings without allowing an earned run while posting an 11/1 K/BB ratio. It sounds like he'll be kept in that role against the Braves rather than being given a start in Game 3 or Game 4.
The Dodgers started Dustin May, but it turned out to just be an “opener” situation, as he went just an inning. Adam Kolerek allowed two runs in the second while getting two outs, and the Dodgers turned to Urias. Saying it went well is an understatement. He allowed just one hit and one walk, and the run came across after an A.J. Pollock error and an Urias balk. The southpaw has been outstanding in this postseason, and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his 8 2/3 innings thus far. The Dodgers are on to the NLCS, and be it as a starter or a “bulk” hurler, Urias is going to be involved against the Braves.
Yarbrough was called on to replace Ryan Thompson with the Rays trailing 2-0 in the third inning, and was tasked with keeping Tampa Bay in the game. For the most part, he did, but he did allow a two-run homer to Gleyber Torres that put a damper on the Rays’ chances of winning this game and advancing to the ALCS. Still, Yarbrough showed the stuff and command that makes him more than capable of being successful as a starter. He’s assuredly unavailable for Game 5 on Friday, but we could see him pitch in a similar role in the ALCS if Tampa Bay is able to win that one.
Montas was great through three innings and probably would have faced the minimum if not for a Matt Olson error. The Astros started putting together much better at-bats in the fourth, coming up with two homers and four singles after a leadoff walk. It's a rough end to a disappointing season for Montas, but it was still pretty encouraging how he threw these last couple of weeks. He'll be worth targeting a reduced price next spring.
Manager Bob Melvin hinted as much prior to Game 3, as long as Montas wasn't needed in relief. He was not, obviously, so he'll get the ball in Game 4. Montas is coming off an uneven regular season, but he struck out 13 in his final start and looked good in a relief appearance in the Wild Card Series versus the White Sox.
The Dodgers have their first two starters set in Walker Buehler in the best-of-five series against the Padres in Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. After that, things are far from settled. Roberts also said that the Dodgers aren't sure how many innings they'll get from Buehler because of his blister issue, so whomever pitches after Buehler -- assuming he doesn't go deep -- seems likely to be the starter in Game 4. All three have pitched well this season, but Urias looked superb in his relief appearance against the Brewers, and it'd be an upset if he didn't get a chance to pitch in a couple of games in this series.
Woodruff was none too pleased after he was pulled from the game, and pointed his fingers at anyone he could as he left. The right-hander was dominant for the first four innings, but gave up three in the fifth before being pulled from the contest. Assuming there's no suspension, Woodruff should be eligible for the NLDS, but that will take a Brewers' comeback as they trail in this game and 1-0 in the best of three series.
He struck out two and walked none. Montas was terrific in the regular-season finale Sunday and he outpitched starter Mike Fiers today, so there's a good chance that he'll get a start in the ALDS, though the A's aren't really locked into anything beyond Chris Bassitt starting two games.
Urias allowed just three hits with no walks, and he was able to strike out five. Coming in after Walker Buehler left, the talented southpaw really wasn't challenged, and has looked good in his role working behind a hurler in his last two appearances. Urias threw 52 pitches, so it seems likely we won't see him pitch until the NLDS -- assuming the Dodgers are able to win one of their next two games of the series.
Ramirez got the scoring going with an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning before rain halted the game for a bit. In the fifth, he knotted things up with two more RBI on another double. Unfortunately for the Tribe, they wound up on the wrong side of the see-saw battle and have been eliminated. Ramirez reached base five times in the two-game sweep.
Both homers were off Tyler Glasnow, and the first was a mammoth shot, hitting off a catwalk at Tropicana Field. Jansen also had a two-homer game a week ago against the Yankees. He ended up batting just .183 this season, but with his defense, power and walk rate, he was still a solid player. He should hold off Alejandro Kirk and remain Toronto's starting catcher next year.
It was the longest scoreless game in the history of the postseason before Freeman slapped a slider from Amir Garrett into center field to score Cristian Pache from third base. The two teams combined for 37 strikeouts and left a combined 46 runners on base. Atlanta will look to sweep the best-of-three series in Game 2 on Thursday.
Brent Suter is handling Game 1 on Wednesday and there is a 'TBD' listed for a potential Game 3 on Friday. Woodruff was outstanding for most of the condensed 2020 regular season, posting a 3.05 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 91/18 K/BB ratio in 13 starts covering 73 2/3 innings. But obviously the Dodgers present a much tougher challenge than what he faced in the Central under MLB's geographic-oriented schedule.
It was a cleanup procedure that involved his labrum, rotator cuff, bursa sac, and a bone spur. Dahl is expected to be ready for the start of spring training in 2021, but we'll have to check back in on his rehab progress as February draws closer. The 26-year-old struggled to a .183/.222/.247 batting line with zero home runs over 24 games (99 plate appearances) in 2020 after carrying a decent amount of fantasy hype into the campaign.
Gray had some command issues with four walks, but he was able to strike out four while allowing just two hits. After giving up 11 runs in his first two starts of the month, the right-hander finished by allowing just three in the final two with 12 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings pitched. Gray wasn't quite as good in 2020 as 2019 -- in a much, much smaller sample -- but did put up decent regular season numbers with a 3.70 ERA, 72/26 K/BB ratio, and 1.21 WHIP. The question now is when Gray pitches in the postseason, and we may not see him pitch until the NLDS -- if Cincinnati advances that far, that is.
Montas scattered four hits allowed, and he walked two while throwing 81-of-113 pitches for strikes. It's an impressive end to the season for Montas, who was as inconsistent as you could possibly be in 2020. The 27-year-old was able to strike out 60 hitters in 53 innings, but he had some abysmal starts that see him end his 2020 season with a 5.60 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. As frustrating as he was, Montas still has long-term value, and showed enough to suggest he'll be a viable fantasy option in 2021. As for the postseason, he likely won't make an appearance for the Athletics until the ALDS -- assuming Oakland reaches that round.
Verdugo has been battling a hamstring issue and with nothing left to play for there's no real reason to keep pushing the 24-year-old. If he does indeed get the day off, he'll finish his first season with the Red Sox hitting .308/.367/.478 with six homers, 15 RBI and four stolen bases in 53 games.
Freeman reached base safely in three of his four plate appearances in the one-sided affair as the Braves’ offense generated only two runs on six hits combined in the loss. The 31-year-old NL MVP candidate owns a sublime .343/.465/.648 triple-slash line with 51 runs scored, 13 home runs, 53 RBI and a pair of stolen bases across 258 plate appearances.
Woodruff yielded just two singles and a walk in the brilliant outing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. It was his second double-digit strikeout performance in September and his third in 2020. The 27-year-old right-hander finishes the regular season with a sharp 3.05 ERA and 91/18 K/BB ratio in 13 starts covering 73 2/3 innings.
Ramos opened the scoring in the ballgame with a two-run blast off of Max Scherzer in the third inning. It would be his only hit in three at-bats on the afternoon. The veteran backstop has had a disappointing season overall, slashing just .237/.296/.388 with five homers and 15 RBI.
Freeman continues to build that NL MVP resume. The All-Star first baseman didn’t actually start the game, but he drew a walk in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter and stuck around from there until the decisive blast in the 11th. Freeman has 13 homers and 53 RBI with a monster .341/.461/.644 batting line over 58 games.
Merrifield led off the game with a single, advanced to second on a bunt single by Adalberto Mondesi, stole third on the front end of a double steal and then scored on a walk to Ryan O'Hearn. He went down on strikes in each of his three other at-bats. For the season, the Royals' catalyst is hitting .282/.327/.444 with nine homers, 30 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Rodriguez developed myocarditis after contracting COVID-19 and hasn't been able to do any real physical activity since the diagnosis. However, the long-term prognosis is good. "They’re hoping his offseason will be normal and he’ll be able to build himself up for (‘21)." Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said.
The Braves clinched the NL East earlier this week, so it makes sense to give some regulars a breather ahead of the postseason. Austin Riley will slide over to first base and Adeiny Hechavarria will cover third.
With two homers and eight RBI, Ramirez outperformed fellow MVP candidates Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson as the Indians pulled off a four-game sweep of the White Sox, leaving them just one game back of their rivals in the standings. It should make him the clear MVP favorite at this point. He's batting .292 with 17 homers and 46 RBI, and his OPS is all of the way up to .992.
Urias came in after Joe Kelly and Brusdar Graterol threw an inning each, and the left-hander pitched well in his bulk role. He did issue two walks, but he also allowed only two hits while striking out five and completing the third-to-eighth innings. It's the final regular season appearance for the 24-year-old, and he finishes the truncated campaign with an ERA of 3.27 and K/BB mark of 45/18 in 55 innings. The question now is how the Dodgers will use Urias in the playoffs, but he appears to be a lock to be a part of their rotation to begin 2021.
It's quite the quirk of the 60-game schedule that a player can raise his OPS over 100 points with one great game in the final week of the season. Jansen went from .589 to .705 tonight and helped his chances of getting starts over Alejandro Kirk in the postseason. After all, Jansen is an excellent defensive catcher, and his current OPS is actually a bit higher than the .701 mark MLB catchers were sporting on the whole coming into the night.
Devers cemented the rout for the Red Sox with a bases-loaded double in the third inning that cleared the clog and gave Boston an 8-0 lead. That's the 16th double of the season for the 23-year-old, and he's plated 39 runs over 53 games. After an atrocious start to the season, Devers now has a .274 average and .836 OPS, and he'll still be worth a (relatively) high draft selection in redraft formats next spring.
Dahl just returned from a core injury two weeks ago and now he's back on the IL with yet another ailment. It ends a very disappointing season for the 26-year-old, as Dahl batted just .183/.222/.247 with no home runs across 99 plate appearances.
Montas failed to keep the ball in the yard against a formidable Dodgers’ lineup, surrendering three home runs in this one. He served up a two-run homer to Max Muncy in the third inning, and also coughed up solo homers to Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock in the fourth inning. The 27-year-old righty has struggled mightily in the home stretch, surrendering at least four earned runs in five of his last six starts, dating back to August 18. Simply put, he hasn’t been the same since injuring his back in mid-August. He’ll carry a disastrous 6.32 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 47/21 K/BB ratio across 47 innings (10 starts) into his final regular-season outing against the Mariners on Sunday.
Freeman and teammate Marcell Ozuna entered the day tied for the NL lead with 48 RBI. Ozuna, though, drove in five runs tonight, so he took the lead in spite of Freeman's strong game. Of course, Ozuna has only fared so well because he's hit behind Freeman all year. Freeman's .463 OBP ranks second in the majors behind Juan Soto's .480 mark. No one else is above .425.
Ramirez had already built a strong MVP candidacy in recent weeks, and a walkoff homer against a division rival to clinch a playoff berth certainly won't hurt. The homer was Ramirez's 12th in 23 games and 17th overall this year. He has a .979 OPS, which ranks fifth in the AL, and he arguably has more defensive value than everyone above him on that list (Jose Abreu, Nelson Cruz, DJ LeMahieu and Mike Trout).
Gray allowed just two hits in his return from the injured list. He could pitch again Sunday if it'll make a difference for the Reds in the playoff chase. If not, he finishes the season 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings.
Gray will make his return Tuesday against the Brewers. The 30-year-old hasn't pitched since September 10 due to a mid-back strain, but he doesn't expect to have any limitations in his first start back. Gray holds a 3.94 ERA over nine starts this season.