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NLDS Game One Snapshot

And so, it begins.

Today, the Cardinals and the Braves kick off the National League Division series for just the second time (though their postseason history is storied in its own right). And this is a quick and dirty preview of what we'll all see as this chapter begins to unfold.

Rosters have been announced!

Notable inclusions:

  • Cardinals: Daniel Ponce de Leon (bullpen), Randy Arozarena (bench)

  • Braves: Rafael Ortega (bench)

Notable exclusions:

  • Cardinals: John Gant (bullpen), Tyler O'Neill (bench)

  • Braves: Julio Tehran (with Atlanta since 2011, the Opening Day starter every year since 2014)

Tonight's Starters

Miles Mikolas

32 starts, 184.0 IP, 4.16 ERA, 4.18 xFIP, 7.32 K/9, 47.4 Ground Ball%, 4.2 BB%, 6.3 Barrel%

  • Vs Braves (2019): 1 Start: 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 104 pitches (69 strikes)

  • Small Sample Size Warning:

- Freddie Freeman - 10 at bats, 3 hits (2 home runs), 1 walk, 1 strikeout

- Dansby Swanson - 8 at bats, 3 hits (1 home run), 3 strikeouts

- Ozzie Albies - 8 at bats, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

- Ronald Acuña Jr. - 9 at bats, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts

"...while MIkolas' slider has not been as sharp as he'd like over the last two months (.364 xwOBA allowed), Braves hitters have been BAD (.192 xwOBA) against similar sliders - so Mikolas may have to lean on it Thursday."

Dallas Keuchel

19 starts, 112.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 4.06 xFIP, 7.27 K/9, 60.1 Ground Ball%, 8.0 BB%, 6.9 Barrel%

  • Vs. Cardinals (Career): 40 PA, 9 H, 5 BB, .693 OPS

  • Small Sample Size Warning:

- Yadier Molina - 5 at bats, 2 hits (2 doubles), 1 RBI

- Paul Goldschmidt - 18 at bats, 3 hits (1 double), 2 walks, 8 strikeouts

- Marcell Ozuna - 5 at bats, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts

- Matt Carpenter - 3 at bats, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

"Keuchel throws a LOT of fastballs, luckily for the Cardinals because they feast on them. Keuchel has held batters to a .327 xwOBA (xwOBA primer) on fastballs in August and September and Cardinals have only hit similar fastballs at a .317 xwOBA in that time.

Fun Facts

Kolten Wong - back in the lineup after missing the last nine regular season games with a left hamstring strain

  • Talk about a reverse split - at home, Wong's wRC+ this year is an underwhelming 80; on the road, it's a massive 137.

Ronald Acuña Jr. - back in the lineup after missing the last four regular season games with left hip tightness

  • September featured Acuña's highest line drive rate (31.8 %), lowest ground ball rate (22.7 %) and highest hard contact rate (63.6 %) of the year, but also his lowest batting average (.233) and highest strike out rate (33.7 %). Baseball!

Good Reads

"... I’ll watch it. I’ll watch what I did well, what I didn’t do well, make sure I’m not predictable, things like that."

“It’s why we got him. He brought instant credibility. He’s been through this war. He’s a World Series champion. And I think when we signed him, we envisioned him making this opening start.”

"Any time these guys have confidence in me, that’s enough. That’s worth the world. And that rest was history.”

“Mike was a battler,” says Tate, who now lives in Belmont. “He was savvy, always smarter than the other guys. He always wanted to know everything — how we did things, why we did them.”

Social Scene


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