NLDS Tidbits: Braves Looking to End Streak of 10 Post-Seasons Without Advancing

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From the offices of Stats, Inc.

CARDINALS at BRAVES

Ø This will be the fifth season in which the Cardinals and the Braves square off in the postseason. The last time was in the inaugural NL Wild Card game in 2012, which St. Louis won by a score of 6-3. The game was notable for featuring a notorious infield fly rule call made by Sam Holbrook, which caused the game to be played under a protest that was ultimately denied. Holbrook will be the crew chief in this series.

Ø The Cardinals ended a three-year stretch of missing the postseason by winning their 11th NL Central title. Since the division was formed in 1994, the other teams in the NL Central have combined for 14 division titles, with no other team notching more than five.

Ø Atlanta won 97 games in the regular season en route to its second consecutive NL East title. The Braves, however, have not won a playoff round since winning the 2001 NLDS over the Astros. Atlanta has failed to advance in the playoffs in nine consecutive rounds, including the 2012 NL Wild Card Game.

Ø The Braves were one of 15 teams to set a single-season franchise home run record in 2019, hitting 249 in the regular season. Three different Braves had 35+ home runs this season: Ronald Acuna Jr. (41), Freddie Freeman (38) and Josh Donaldson (37). The only other team in MLB this year with three guys with 35+ home runs was the Dodgers: Cody Bellinger (47), Joc Pederson (36) and Max Muncy (35).

Ø The Cardinals had a 3.39 ERA post-All-Star break, second lowest in MLB over that time (Dodgers – 3.37). St. Louis pitching also registered an MLB-high 11 shutouts after the All-Star break.

Ø With a career 3.31 ERA across 10 postseason appearances (nine starts), Dallas Keuchel will get the nod in Game 1 for Atlanta. Keuchel has a 5.04 ERA in his last five postseason appearances after posting a 1.69 ERA over his first five playoff outings (all as a member of the Astros).

Ø Miles Mikolas will be making his postseason debut for the Cardinals in Game 1. Mikolas had a 5.40 ERA on the road this season, though that number was a far more palatable 3.64 after the All-Star break. Mikolas has made three starts against Atlanta since his return to the majors in 2018, pitching to a 2.95 ERA with an 8.0 strikeout-walk ratio (16/2) in 18.1 IP.

NATIONALS at DODGERS

Ø The Dodgers won 100+ games for the second time in three seasons en route to their seventh consecutive NL West title. This is the third-longest streak of consecutive division titles won by any team since MLB was broken into divisions in 1969. The Braves won 14 straight NL East crowns from 1991-2005 and the Yankees took the AL East in nine straight seasons from 1998-2006.

Ø The Nationals defeated the Brewers, 4-3, in Tuesday’s NL Wild Card game. Washington took the lead in the bottom of the 8th when three runs scored on a Juan Soto single and error by right fielder Trent Grisham. Soto became the youngest player in MLB postseason history to come to the plate in the 8th inning or later with his team trailing and deliver the game-tying (or go-ahead) RBI.

Ø The Dodgers won four of seven meetings between these teams in the regular season, through the teams split four games played at Dodger Stadium. These teams last met in the playoffs in the 2016 NLDS with the Dodgers winning the series in five games.

Ø Los Angeles set the National League record with 279 home runs this season, while Washington was one of 15 teams to set a single-season franchise record in home runs in 2019 with 231.

Ø This will be the fifth career postseason start for Walker Buehler; in his first four, the righty has posted a 3.80 ERA across 23.2 innings, while limiting opponents to a .190 batting average. Buehler’s most recent postseason appearance came in Game 3 of the World Series in 2018, when he pitched seven shutout innings in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox.

Ø After pitching six seasons with Arizona, Patrick Corbin will be making his postseason debut in his first season with the Nationals. Corbin has made 21 appearances (19 starts) in his career against the Dodgers, pitching to a 3.36 ERA across 109.2 IP. Justin Turner has fared well against Corbin over their careers, batting .375 (12-for-32) with five extra-base hits and four walks to just three strikeouts.

Ø In 49 career postseason games, Justin Turner has recorded a .420 on-base percentage. Of the 100 players all-time with at least 150 career postseason PA, Turner’s OBP ranks fifth behind Babe Ruth (.470), Barry Bonds (.433), Albert Pujols (.431) and Jason Giambi (.425).

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