NLCS at a glance: Game 3 pitchers, Braves’ streak, who’s hot, who’s not

Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud (16) jumps onto leftfielder Eddie Rosario after Rosario's game-winning hit that scored shortstop Dansby Swanson in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday at Truist Park.  (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

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Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud (16) jumps onto leftfielder Eddie Rosario after Rosario's game-winning hit that scored shortstop Dansby Swanson in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS on Sunday at Truist Park. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

What you need to know about the Braves as the National League Championship Series shifts to Los Angeles for Game 3 at 5:08 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday:

ExploreNLCS Game 3: Follow pitch-by-pitch

The series lead

The Braves lead the Dodgers two games to none after back-to-back walk-off wins at Truist Park. Historically, teams with 2-0 leads in best-of-seven MLB postseason series have prevailed 83.9% of the time. But, as you’ll recall, an exception occurred in last year’s NLCS, when the Dodgers defeated the Braves in seven games despite losing the first two and three of the first four.

The pitching matchup

The Braves will start right-hander Charlie Morton (14-6 with a 3.34 ERA during the regular season) against Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47) in Game 3. Morton, 37, has been one of baseball’s best postseason pitchers in recent years with Houston and Tampa Bay, although he stumbled against the Dodgers in his one start in last year’s World Series (five runs in 4-1/3 innings). Buehler, 27, allowed one run in 11 innings against the Braves in last year’s NLCS.

The venue

Dodger Stadium is one of baseball’s most picturesque and iconic ballparks, but the Braves rarely have enjoyed their visits. They have lost nine consecutive games there – seven regular-season and two postseason, dating to June 2018 – and 20 of their past 24.

The streak

The Braves are on a five-game postseason winning streak, having not lost since the first game of the Division Series. Their past three wins have been by one run, all decided in their final at-bat. The Braves have won 13 of their past 15 games, including regular season and playoffs. Since July 31, the day after the trade deadline, they are 42-20, compared with 51-54 before that date. The Dodgers are 48-17 since July 31.

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Braves outfielder Guillermo Heredia (right) begins the celebration after leftfielder Eddie Rosario (8) hit the walk-off single that scored shortstop Dansby Swanson in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. The Braves won 5-4 to take a 2-0 series lead. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Braves outfielder Guillermo Heredia (right) begins the celebration after leftfielder Eddie Rosario (8) hit the walk-off single that scored shortstop Dansby Swanson in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. The Braves won 5-4 to take a 2-0 series lead. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin

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Braves outfielder Guillermo Heredia (right) begins the celebration after leftfielder Eddie Rosario (8) hit the walk-off single that scored shortstop Dansby Swanson in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. The Braves won 5-4 to take a 2-0 series lead. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

RISP

NLCS-defining statistic: The Dodgers are 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position through the first two games, with both hits by Chris Taylor. The Braves are 3-for-8 in that situation.

Go figure

The Braves won NLCS Game 1 despite their batters striking out 14 times. Then they won Game 2 despite their pitchers issuing nine walks.

Who’s hot

- Eddie Rosario is 9-for-22 (.409) in the playoffs after going 4-for-4, including the game-winning walk-off hit, in NLCS Game 2 on Sunday night.

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Braves relief pitcher Will Smith reacts after recording the third out in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves relief pitcher Will Smith reacts after recording the third out in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

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Braves relief pitcher Will Smith reacts after recording the third out in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

- Joc Pederson is 5-for-14 (.357) with three home runs, seven RBIs and a 1.357 OPS in 14 at-bats this postseason. His 12 career postseason homers are tied with Hall of Famer Yogi Berra for 24th-most all-time.

- Extending his success from the regular season and Division Series, Austin Riley has three hits and three RBIs in the first two NLCS games, including the game-winning single in the ninth inning of Game 1 and a game-tying double in the eighth inning of Game 2.

- Closer Will Smith hasn’t allowed a run in five playoff outings, recording two wins and three saves, and the Braves’ bullpen has a collective 1.52 postseason ERA.

Who’s not

- Freddie Freeman is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts since hitting the home run that won the Division Series. He’s 4-for-21 (.190) for the postseason.

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman reacts after striking out in the third inning of Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman reacts after striking out in the third inning of Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman reacts after striking out in the third inning of Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / curtis.compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

- Adam Duvall, who led the NL with 113 regular-season RBIs, hasn’t driven in a run in the playoffs.

- Travis d’Arnaud has three singles in 18 postseason at-bats.

- Dansby Swanson is 4-for-22.