St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (-153, 6.5)
Series tied 1-1.
The Pittsburgh Pirates wrested home-field advantage from the St. Louis Cardinals and will look to get a leg up in the National League Division series when they host Game 3 of the best-of-five series Sunday afternoon. The Pirates earned a split in St. Louis and have the luxury of turning to ace Francisco Liriano, who won all three starts against the Cardinals this season in dominant fashion. Liriano also has not lost at home since June 1.
St. Louis followed up a crisp 9-1 victory in Game 1 with a ragged performance in Friday's 7-1 defeat, prompting center fielder Jon Jay to call Sunday's game a "must-win." The Cardinals have not fared well in Pittsburgh this season, losing seven of 10 while batting .227 with zero home runs. Third baseman David Freese dismissed any past history, saying, “People talk about momentum. It all starts over the following day.”
TV: 4:37 p.m. ET, TBS
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-80s with mostly cloudy skies. Wind will blow across the field at 8 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. Pirates LH Francisco Liriano (16-8, 3.02)
Kelly was inserted into the rotation in early July and won his first eight decisions en route to going 10-2 as a starter. Although he went 2-2 in his last four starts of the season, Kelly beat the Pirates three times in the last two months, allowing a total of two runs over 18 innings. He was 5-1 with a 1.08 in seven road starts, including two victories at Pittsburgh.
Liriano was nearly unbeatable at PNC Park, logging an 8-1 record and 1.47 ERA in 11 home starts - and the loss was a 2-0 defeat in which he struck out 11. He was overpowering in his three turns against the Cardinals, giving up only two runs and 10 hits in 24 innings for a microscopic 0.75 ERA. Liriano also beat Cincinnati in the wild card round with seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball.
* Over is 6-1 in the last seven meetings.
* Cardinals are 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Cardinals are 9-2 in Kelly's last 11 starts.
* Pirates are 13-6 in Liriano's last 19 starts.
1. Pirates C Russell Martin is 3-for-4 with a homer against Kelly.
2. Cardinals LF Matt Holliday is 3-for-8 this season against Liriano, who held St. Louis to a .127 batting average.
3. Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez became the first player in franchise history to homer in the first two games of a postseason series.
Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers (-145, 6.5)
Series tied 1-1.
Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez seeks a little help from his teammates when the Dodgers host the Atlanta Braves in Sunday’s Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Ramirez homered, doubled twice and drove in all three runs in a Game 2 loss that saw Atlanta even up the series at a game apiece. The Braves had just six hits but turned three double plays in Friday’s 4-3 victory.
Ramirez enjoyed a strong second half and has continued his hot hitting into the postseason. “We’ve got to do a better job with guys in scoring position because everything counts in the playoffs,” Ramirez said after the Game 2 loss. “Every play, every pitch. It just wasn’t our night but we know we can bounce back.” Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had a key two-run single in Friday’s game. “Every night in the postseason is a must-win game for us,” Heyward said. “You don’t want to ever think it’s OK to lose.”
TV: 6:07 p.m. ET, TBS
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-80s with wind blowing out to right field at 7 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Julio Teheran (14-8, 3.20 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-8, 3.00)
Teheran didn’t face the Dodgers in the regular season and is making his first career postseason start. He had a 4.44 ERA in September despite going 3-1 and allowed four runs in two of his last three starts. Teheran went 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 14 road starts.
Ryu had a 1-3 record in September while pitching well with a 2.88 ERA. He started twice against the Braves this season, receiving no-decisions both times and sporting a 2.13 ERA in 12 2/3 innings. Ryu went 7-4 with a 2.32 ERA in 15 home outings.
* Under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Los Angeles.
* Under is 5-0-2 in John Hirschbeck's last seven games behind home plate vs. Atlanta.
* Braves are 5-1 in Teheran's last six road starts.
* Dodgers are 1-4 in Ryu's last five starts as a favorite.
1. Ramirez is 4-for-9 in the series and all the hits have been for extra bases.
2. Braves OF B.J. Upton has been demoted to a bench role and has struck out in both at-bats over the first two games.
3. Dodgers RHP Brian Wilson tossed a scoreless inning in each game and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.