Playoff Reset: NLCS takes center stage

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It’s a travel day on the American League side of things, so all of the focus will be on Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday night in St. Louis. Let’s preview the action …

The Game: San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals, National League Championship Series Game 2
The Time: 8:00 PM Eastern
The Place: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
The Channel: FOX Sports 1
The Starters: Jake Peavy vs. Lance Lynn
The Upshot: The Cardinals were dominated by Madison Bumgarner in Game 1 on Saturday night and will need to generate some offense against Peavy to even things up in this best-of-seven NLCS before the series shifts to San Francisco. Peavy was fantastic down the stretch for the Giants in the regular season and he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his one NLDS start against the Nationals. Can he keep it rolling? Lynn had two rough outings versus San Francisco in the 2012 NLCS, but he’s a much more confident and effective pitcher now, coming off a breakout regular season (2.72 ERA, 181 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings). Peavy and Lynn both pitch with a ton of visible emotion. Look for some good screaming in this one.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.