World Series, Game 3: What You Need to Know

ATLANTA – Let’s start over, with rested relievers, rookie starters and the World Series now rethought as a best-of-five game. Let’s do it at Truist Park, the Atlanta Braves stadium that will host for the first time a Fall Classic and the Braves’ first home games at this event this century. Let’s play without designated hitters, possibly the last World Series without them.

And make it a Friday night when the Braves will try to regain control in Game 3 and the Braves will try to stay inspired after Wednesday night’s 7-2 win in Houston.

The Astros are coming off a five-game losing streak at home in the World Series and now the Braves, amid a string of five straight home setbacks that began in 1996 and ended in 1999, will try to do the same.

“I think the fans are excited,” Braves starter Ian Anderson said. “I think Atlanta fans are always there at this time of year. We have had some success, the teams, and the city as well. So we are going to try to complete the job for them. “

Game 3 will be a rare rookie battle, with Anderson on the hill for the Braves and Luis Garcia for Houston. This is just the eighth game in World Series history and the first since Game 1 of 2006 (Justin Verlander for the Tigers vs. Anthony Reyes and the Cardinals) in which both starters are rookies, something that could take out some of the hitters.

But of course, since this is the 2021 postseason, the outcome will likely depend on relievers as well as starters. Both of these bullpens have worked hard this October. So far in the World Series, starters have totaled 14.1 innings, down from 20.2 for pitchers coming from the bullpen. So both Novenas welcomed Thursday’s day off, especially the Braves, who lost veteran starter Charlie Morton in Game 1 to a broken fibula.

“The bullpen obviously is going to play a very important role, obviously, in everything we can do, because we lost a tremendous starter,” acknowledged Braves manager Brian Snitker. “So we’re probably going to have two games (Games 4 and 5) where we’re going to need 18 innings from that bullpen.”

That only adds more importance to Game 3. And here is the meaning in numbers of said game when the series is tied 1-1: the winner of Game 3 in such a scenario has finished taking 39 titles in 60 attempts (65%) . That includes six of the last nine and 13 of the last 17 times.

What time is the game?
Game 3 is scheduled for Friday at 8 pm ET.

What do the lineups look like?

1. José Altuve, 2B
2. Michael Brantley, RF
3. Alex Bregman, 3B
4. Yordan Álvarez, LF
5. Carlos Correa, SS
6. Kyle Tucker, CF
7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
8. Martín Maldonado, C
9. Luis García, P

Who are the starting pitchers?
Astros: Garcia (1-1, 9.64 ERA) rebounded from two poor starts against the White Sox and Red Sox in the SDLA and SCLA, respectively, taking the victory with 5.2 scoreless innings of work and just one hit allowed in the Game. 6 of the SCLA, which gave Houston the pass to the Fall Classic. Garcia will be pitching on a bye week, which could benefit his fastball speed. In Game 6 against Boston he hit 97 mph consistently, after just throwing a pitch of at least 97 mph in the regular season.

Braves: Anderson (1-0, 2.25 ERA) will be making his first World Series start. The 23-year-old right-hander has made just 30 regular-season starts, but has a 1.47 ERA in seven playoff games started.

Anderson has been given the opportunity to complete five innings in just one of his three starts this October. But knowing they will have to use their bullpen as much in Games 4 and 5, the Braves are probably going to give him more rein than they did against the Dodgers in the SCLN.

Who is on and who is not?
Astros: Brantley is 9-5 in the World Series with a pair of two-hitter games and Tucker is 7-3. On the other side are the Puerto Rican Correa, who is 7-1, and Bregman, who is 7-0 in the Fall Classic.

Anything else fans want to know?
The Braves have won 10 of their last 11 home games, including each of the five they have played this postseason. The only defeat during that stretch was on October 1, a day after they secured the LN East Division title.

The teams that have scored first in the 2021 postseason are 26-7.