Mike Soroka
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Braves, Cardinals lineups for NLDS Game 3

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The Braves and Cardinals are each looking to take an edge in the National League Division Series on Sunday, when they’ll enter Game 3 tied 1-1. Atlanta evened the series on Friday with a 3-0 shutout over St. Louis, courtesy of some strong pitching by Mike Foltynewicz and a pair of well-timed hits from Josh Donaldson and Adam Duvall.

Although they’ve played to mixed results so far, the Braves will roll out the exact same lineup that’s served them through the last two games:

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (R) CF
  2. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
  3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
  4. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
  5. Nick Markakis (L) LF
  6. Matt Joyce (L) RF
  7. Brian McCann (L) C
  8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS

P: RHP Mike Soroka

All-Star rookie Soroka is poised to take the mound for his first career postseason appearance. He pitched to a 13-4 record in 29 regular-season starts with a 2.68 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, 7.3 SO/9, and 4.0 fWAR.

After running with very similar configurations in Games 1 and 2, the Cardinals decided to shuffle things up a bit for Game 3:

  1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
  2. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
  4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
  5. Yadier Molina (R) C
  6. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
  7. Tommy Edman (S) RF
  8. Paul DeJong (R) SS

P: RHP Adam Wainwright

Wong has been promoted from the no. 6-7 spot to no. 2 in the lineup, while Edman and DeJong have been bumped to the bottom of the list. With Harrison Bader on the bench, Carpenter is slated to make his first start in the series after filling in as a pinch-hitter on Friday. Wainwright, meanwhile, will make his first postseason outing since 2015; he hasn’t been credited with a postseason win since the 2013 NLDS.

Game 3 will kick off at 4:10 PM EDT.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.