The Braves enter tonight’s NLCS a little more well-rested than their counterparts from LA. Having finished the Brewers off in four games, the Braves are able to set their rotation as desired with ace Max Fried taking the ball in game one. After that, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson will be ready for games two and three, though not in that order, as the Braves are giving Morton an additional day of rest to start game three. That also allows Anderson the more favorable home crowd in game two.
On the offensive end, Jorge Soler remains on the COVID-19 list. He could return sometime during this series if he’s cleared, but they’d have to remove Cristian Pache, who took his roster spot in the NLDS, notes The Athletic’s David O’Brien (via Twitter). The rest of their NLCS roster lays out thusly…
- Ian Anderson (game 2 starter)
- Jesse Chavez
- Luke Jackson
- Chris Martin
- Charlie Morton (game 3 starter)
- Jacob Webb
- Huascar Ynoa
Essentially, the Braves have chosen to swap out Dylan Lee and Terrance Gore in favor of Chris Martin and Johan Camargo. Pache also remains on the roster for the time being, with Soler expected to miss the entire series. The Braves are rolling with just a 12-man pitching staff while keeping six bats on the bench.
In Soler’s spot, Pache will likely be used as a defensive replacement. He could also be used as a pinch-runner now that Gore has been left off. Gore made his first appearance of the season for the Braves in the NLDS, though keeping the speedster on the roster is a bit of a luxury.
In his place, Camargo provides greater flexibility with the glove. Camargo saw his role diminish more than ever this season, stepping to the plate just 18 times without recording a hit during the regular season. The baseball gods surely have primed Camargo for a significant plate appearance at some point during the NLCS.
Lee was a surprising addition to the NLDS roster, and he did not appear against the Brewers. Martin brings much more experience in what’s sure to be a high-pressure series against the Dodgers. Without Lee, the Braves still have the M&Ms Matzek and Minter as southpaws ahead of their lefty closer Smith, as well as Smyly, though the latter is the most likely option to start game four in Los Angeles. Should Smyly come in handy out of the pen early in the series, Ynoa is certainly capable of starting game four in his place.