NLDS Game 4: Braves-Dodgers lineups

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With the Dodgers holding a 2-1 lead in the series, below are the lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS. First pitch is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET while the game will be broadcast on TBS…

Braves:
CF Jason Heyward
RF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Evan Gattis
C Brian McCann
3B Chris Johnson
SS Andrelton Simmons
2B Elliot Johnson
SP Freddy Garcia

Dodgers:
LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
SS Hanley Ramirez
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Yasiel Puig
3B Juan Uribe
CF Skip Schumaker
C A.J. Ellis
SP Clayton Kershaw

Save for the starting pitchers, these are the same lineups both teams used in Game 3. The Dodgers, who pounded out 13 runs on 14 hits last night, will attempt to put the series to bed against Freddy Garcia. Meanwhile, the Braves will have to hope that they can get something going against Kershaw, who is pitching on short-rest for the first time in his career.

Mookie Betts could play second base in the World Series

Mookie Betts
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The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.

The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.

The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.

Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.