Game Thread: ALDS Game 2, NLDS Game 1

The divisional round of the 2021 MLB postseason began on Thursday on the American League side, and now it kicks fully into gear with the National League joining the action. There are four games on Friday, with all eight teams playing.

Yesterday, the ALDS got going with a pair of Game 1 meetings. The Houston Astros breezed past the Chicago White Sox by a 6-1 score, and the Tampa Bay Rays similarly squashed the Boston Red Sox in a 5-0 shutout. They’ll each square off again today.

In the NLDS, the Milwaukee Brewers host the Atlanta Braves this afternoon in a battle of division-winners, and then the San Francisco Giants host the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight in an NL West showdown.

Astros vs. White Sox

Yesterday, Houston was led by DH Yordan Alvarez, who hit a homer and an RBI double, as well as 6⅔ innings from starter Lance McCullers Jr. Chicago had seven hits but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

The White Sox send Lucas Giolito to the mound in Game 2. He faced the Astros once this year in July and tossed a complete game three-hitter. Houston starter Framber Valdez split two starts against the Sox this year, one quality win and one mediocre loss, and along the way he allowed homers to three different hitters in today’s lineup (Anderson, Moncada, Vaughn).

Astros lineup (home)

  1. 2B Jose Altuve (R)
  2. DH Michael Brantley (L)
  3. 3B Alex Bregman (R)
  4. LF Yordan Alvarez (L)
  5. 1B Yuli Gurriel (R)
  6. SS Carlos Correa (R)
  7. RF Kyle Tucker (L)
  8. CF Chas McCormick (R)
  9. C Martin Maldonado (R)

White Sox lineup (away)

  1. SS Tim Anderson (R)
  2. CF Luis Robert (R)
  3. 1B Jose Abreu (R)
  4. C Yasmani Grandal (S)
  5. LF Eloy Jimenez (R)
  6. 3B Yoan Moncada (S)
  7. DH Andrew Vaughn (R)
  8. 2B Leury Garcia (S)
  9. RF Adam Engel (R)

How To Watch

  • Date: Friday, October 8
  • Time: 11:07 a.m. PT
  • TV: MLB Network

Brewers vs. Braves

The National League opens with the NL Central champion Brewers and the NL East champion Braves at Miller Park.

The pitching matchup might be particularly interesting for Oakland A’s fans. Brewers starter Corbin Burnes, who might win the Cy Young this year, was originally drafted out of St. Mary’s College in Moraga right here in the East Bay (born in Bakersfield). Braves starter Charlie Morton is familiar from the 2019 AL Wild Card Game, when he beat the A’s as a member of the Rays.

Atlanta has former A’s pitcher Jesse Chavez in the bullpen. He just turned 38 but he’s feeling great, posting one of his best seasons yet this summer albeit in limited duty.

Brewers lineup (home)

  1. 2B Kolten Wong (L)
  2. SS Willy Adames (R)
  3. LF Christian Yelich (L)
  4. RF Avisail Garcia (R)
  5. 1B Rowdy Tellez (L)
  6. 3B Eduardo Escobar (S)
  7. C Omar Narvaez (L)
  8. CF Lorenzo Cain (R)
  9. RHP Corbin Burnes (R)

Braves lineup (away)

  1. RF Jorge Soler (R)
  2. 1B Freddie Freeman (L)
  3. 2B Ozzie Albies (S)
  4. 3B Austin Riley (R)
  5. CF Adam Duvall (R)
  6. LF Eddie Rosario (L)
  7. C Travis d’Arnaud (R)
  8. SS Dansby Swanson (R)
  9. RHP Charlie Morton (R) P

How To Watch

  • Date: Friday, October 8
  • Time: 1:37 p.m. PT
  • TV: TBS

Rays vs. Red Sox

Yesterday, the Rays got a legendary performance from outfielder Randy Arozarena, who became the first player in MLB history to hit a homer and steal home in the same postseason game. Starter Shane McClanahan led the pitching staff with five scoreless innings.

The pitching matchup ramps up in Game 2, as the Red Sox send out superstar Chris Sale. He missed most of the year recovering from Tommy John surgery, but looked good for nine starts upon his return in August. For Tampa Bay, Shane Baz is a national Top 100 prospect who made his MLB debut on Sept. 20 and has only pitched three times in the majors, a typically bold move by the fearless Rays.

This is the second straight game that Tampa Bay has put out a rookie starting pitcher named Shane who debuted in the majors this year, after McClanahan yesterday. They’re also putting out exactly the same batting lineup for the second straight day, something they didn’t do a single time during the regular season.

Rays lineup (home)

  1. LF Randy Arozarena (R)
  2. SS Wander Franco (S)
  3. 2B Brandon Lowe (L)
  4. DH Nelson Cruz (R)
  5. 3B Yandy Diaz (R)
  6. 1B Jordan Luplow (R)
  7. RF Manuel Margot (R)
  8. C Mike Zunino (R)
  9. CF Kevin Kiermaier (L)

Red Sox lineup (away)

  1. 1B Kyle Schwarber (L)
  2. CF Enrique Hernandez (R)
  3. 3B Rafael Devers (L)
  4. SS Xander Bogaerts (R)
  5. LF Alex Verdugo (L)
  6. DH J.D. Martinez (R)
  7. RF Hunter Renfroe (R)
  8. C Christian Vazquez (R)
  9. 2B Christian Arroyo (R)

How To Watch

  • Date: Friday, October 8
  • Time: 4:02 p.m. PT
  • TV: FS1

Giants vs. Dodgers

For the first time in their 131-year rivalry, the Dodgers and Giants are facing each other in the postseason. The Giants won 107 games and the division, while the Dodgers won 106 and a Wild Card, followed by a victory over the Cardinals in the Wild Card Game.

S.F. sends breakout youngster Logan Webb to the mound. He started against the Dodgers three times this summer and was solid each time, with the team winning all three. L.A. counters with All-Star and Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler. He went against the Giants six times this year and was good in five of them, but the bad one was the most recent in September.

Giants lineup (home)

  1. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. 1B Wilmer Flores (R)
  3. SS Brandon Crawford (L)
  4. C Buster Posey (R)
  5. RF LaMonte Wade Jr. (L)
  6. LF Kris Bryant (R)
  7. CF Mike Yastrzemski (L)
  8. 3B Evan Longoria (R)
  9. RHP Logan Webb (R)

Dodgers lineup (away)

  1. RF Mookie Betts (R)
  2. SS Corey Seager (L)
  3. 2B Trea Turner (R)
  4. 3B Justin Turner (R)
  5. C Will Smith (R)
  6. 1B Matt Beaty (L)
  7. CF Cody Bellinger (L)
  8. LF AJ Pollock (R)
  9. RHP Walker Buehler (R)

How To Watch

  • Date: Friday, October 8
  • Time: 6:37 p.m. PT
  • TV: TBS

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