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Astros-Braves World Series Game 3 Preview

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The 2021 World Series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 after the Astros tied up the series 1-1 with a Game 2 victory at home. The Astros will send out rookie righty Luis Garcia, while the Braves will give the ball to 23-year-old starter Ian Anderson. A battle of two young stars who have had up-and-down postseasons gives us an unpredictable matchup with plenty of intrigue. The Braves took home field advantage with a Game 1 victory, but Jose Urquidy and Jose Altuve came up big for a huge Houston win in Game 2.

Lineup Previews

Projected Lineup: HOU

For the visitors, it’ll be their first game of National League baseball since September 5th, a loss to San Diego. They’ve eased Yordan Alvarez into the outfield throughout the season, which will benefit them now as they’ll be able to keep him in the lineup even without a designated hitter. Their defense will take a hit in the outfield, which might hurt without the short wall in left like at home, but there’s no way to justify taking either of Michael Brantley or Yordan Alvarez out of the lineup.

  1. Jose Altuve, 2B
  2. Michael Brantley, LF
  3. Alex Bregman, 3B
  4. Yordan Alvarez, RF
  5. Carlos Correa, SS
  6. Kyle Tucker, CF
  7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
  8. Martin Maldonado, C
  9. Luis Garcia, SP

Projected Lineup: ATL

The Braves will host a World Series game for the first time since 1999, when they got swept by the Yankees. This time around, the Braves are led by a group of pieces that were thrown together at the trade deadline after the loss of superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. to injuries. Those pieces have come up huge in the playoffs, including a home run on the first pitch of the World Series for slugger Jorge Soler. The Braves will be facing another righty in Garcia, and will send out another lefty-heavy lineup like in Game 2.

  1. Eddie Rosario, LF
  2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  3. Ozzie Albies, 2B
  4. Austin Riley, 3B
  5. Adam Duvall, CF
  6. Joc Pederson, RF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  8. Dansby Swanson, SS
  9. Ian Anderson, SP

Garcia vs Anderson

The pitching matchup in Game 3 is between two young stars, Luis Garcia and Ian Anderson. The Astros opted to push back Garcia’s start and start Jose Urquidy in Game 2, which paid off nicely. Urquidy gave the Astros five innings of two-run ball, striking out seven Braves in the process. In Garcia’s last start, he threw 5.2 innings of shutout ball in the closeout game of the ALCS, sending Houston to the World Series. He’s had an inconsistent postseason so far, but is coming off of an incredible start.

This year, his rookie year, Luis Garcia threw 155.1 innings over 30 appearances (28 starts) and had a 3.30 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, and 3.91 SIERA. When he’s locked in, Garcia is one of the toughest pitchers in all of baseball. So far in the playoffs, Garcia has two bad starts but he tightened up when it mattered most. The stakes are higher now, in a tie-breaking World Series game, and we’ll see if Garcia is up to the test.

Ian Anderson has only been in the majors for a year and a half, but he’s already a proven playoff performer with seven stars under his belt. In those seven starts, Anderson has put up just a 1.47 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched. His peripheral numbers aren’t as eye-opening, but he still has a 2.73 FIP, 4.30 xFIP, 17.3% K-BB%, and 3.86 SIERA in the playoffs.

He was a huge part of the Braves’ run last year, turning in solid start after solid start as the Braves made a run to the NLCS. This season, he’s started three games for Atlanta, but he’s only given them 12 innings. With games three days in a row, the Braves will need Anderson to go deeper in the game. Whichever pitcher can give their team more length will help with not only Game 3, but the rest of the series.


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Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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