The National League pennant will be decided tonight. The Braves and Dodgers will kick off NLCS Game 7 in a few hours. The winner will take on the Rays next week in the World Series.
The Dodgers were the league’s most imposing offense in the regular season. Los Angeles has continued to mash in the postseason, averaging nearly six runs per game in the NLCS, thanks largely to Corey Seager’s recent home run barrage. Overall, L.A. has a 35-30 run differential edge for the series.
Atlanta’s lineup doesn’t have the depth of the Dodgers’ but the Braves obviously have ample high-end talent. Atlanta also has the more stable pitching outlook for Game 7. While the Dodgers will open with Dustin May, presumably to kick off a full-on bullpen game, Atlanta will hand the ball over to Game 2 starter Ian Anderson.
The 22-year-old Anderson has just six career regular season appearances under his belt, but he’s been downright stellar. The former third overall pick put up a 1.95 ERA over 32.1 innings as a rookie. Anderson punched out an impressive 29.7% of opposing hitters during the regular season while racking up grounders on over half the balls in play against him. The changeup artist also hasn’t been scored upon in 15.2 playoff innings.
The MLBTR readership was almost evenly split as to who would emerge victorious at the beginning of the series. (For what it’s worth, the Braves have since lost left fielder Adam Duvall to an oblique injury, unexpectedly forcing Cristian Pache into everyday duty). Predicting individual baseball games can be something of a fool’s errand, but we’ll turn it over to the readers nonetheless. Who will be celebrating a league championship tonight?
(poll link for app users).