Game time: 5:07 p.m. ET
Venue: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Where to watch: TBS
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
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Brewers - Braves preview and analysis
Game 4, National League Division Series -- Braves lead 2-1
A gifted 20th century poet once asked, “What’s cooler than being cool?”
There has to be another level beyond ice cold because that would explain the Milwaukee Brewers’ bats right now.
Meanwhile, the NL East champion Atlanta Braves are one win away from a return to the National League Championship Series thanks to the events of “Joctober.”
Joc Pederson hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning Monday, the only runs scored in Game 3, to give the Braves a 3-0 win over the Brewers to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead in the NLDS. Atlanta will look to close the series out at home on Tuesday.
But we need to discuss one Mr. Pederson real quick. Because what he does when the lights are brightest are absurd.
We’re talking about someone who will turn 30 next year, who is a career .232 batter in 885 career games. He’s two home runs from 150 in his major league career. He’s never been one to be an imposing force in the lineup.
Get your club to October, and all bets are off.
With his homer on Monday, Pederson has 11 in October (second of this series) and is batting .286 in 67 career postseason games. Pederson also had a solo homer in the eighth inning of Game 1, a 2-1 loss for Atlanta.
“They say some guys are built for it,” Braves starting pitcher Ian Anderson said. “[Pederson] is the epitome of that, I would say.”
But back-to-back 3-0 wins for the Braves go beyond just Pederson’s October heroics. The starting pitching of Atlanta has somehow outdueled Milwaukee’s stout rotation for the better part of two games. Game 2 saw Max Fried pitch six shutout innings with nine strikeouts, and Game 3 saw Anderson respond with five scoreless innings of his own while striking out six.
Outside of Corbin Burnes’ pristine performance in Game 1, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta have not been able to match that same energy.
“No one got complacent. We know what we need to do,” said Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain. “Everybody's frustrated. Everybody's upset. We just have to show up [in Game 4] and score as many runs as possible. We’ve got to find a way to win.”
Neither team has revealed their starter for the matchup on Tuesday.
The biggest concern facing the Brewers was the inability to score runs from the big-name players. Christian Yelich, Avisail Garcia and Willy Adames have not been able to get anything going. You’d like to think one of the more dominant teams in the National League would do enough to push it back to Milwaukee, but I have a hard time thinking the Brewers will figure it out on offense so quickly with their season on the line. Braves win 4-2
The under is 40-21 in the Brewers’ last 61 October games.
The Braves are 23-13 (+6.7 net games on the money line) against NL Central teams this season and 47-29 over the past three seasons.
Atlanta is 114-82 (-2.6 net games) at home in the last three seasons.
Kolten Wong (L) 2B
Willy Adames (R) SS
Christian Yelich (L) LF
Avisail Garcia (R) RF
Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
Luis Urias (R) 3B
Omar Narvaez (L) C
Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
Jorge Soler (R) RF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
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