All four of Major League Baseball’s best-of-five League Division Series are in action Wednesday. There are a pair of NLDS Game 2s and a pair of ALDS Game 3s, with a possible clincher at Dodger Stadium. Here are the day’s scores and a look ahead to the action.

MLB playoff scores

FINAL: Braves, 2 Marlins 0 (box score) — Atlanta leads series 2-0
LIVE: Astros at Athletics (GameTracker) — Houston leads series 2-0
COMING: Rays at Yankees (7:10 p.m. ET) — Series tied 1-1
COMING: Padres at Dodgers (9:08 p.m. ET) — Los Angeles leads series 1-0

D’Arnaud goes deep again for Braves

The Mets released Travis d’Arnaud last May and he almost immediately became one of the best catchers in baseball. I know it’s cliché to pick on the Mets but good gravy. That doesn’t happen to any other franchise. D’Arnaud hit .263/.323/.459 for the Rays last year, then .321/.386/.533 for the Braves this year, then clobbered a huge three-run home run in NLDS Game 1 on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, he added another home run. D’Arnaud took Pablo Lopez deep to give the Braves a 2-0 lead, which held up as the final score. To the action footage:

Dansby Swanson hit a solo home run earlier in the game to get the Braves on the board. D’Arnaud now has five career postseason home runs — he has two this series plus three with the 2015 Mets — tied with Yasmani Grandal and Salvador Perez for second most among active catchers. Only Gary Sanchez (7) has more.

D’Arnaud is doing more than hitting the ball over the fence too. He helped rookie righty Ian Anderson navigate 5 2/3 excellent and scoreless innings in Game 2. Anderson struck out eight Marlins, including four in a six-batter stretch at one point early in the game. He has been a godsend for a team that desperately needed rotation help.

The Braves shut out the Marlins in Game 3 — MLB.com’s Sarah Langs notes the Braves join the 1905 Giants and 1966 Orioles as the only teams with three shutouts in their first four postseason games — to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. Historically, teams with a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series go on to win the series more than 91 percent of the time.

Astros on verge of ALCS berth

One more win and the Astros will return to the ALCS for the fourth consecutive season. Houston beat the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS (and won the World Series), lost to the Red Sox in the 2018 ALCS, and beat the Yankees in the 2019 ALCS (and lost the World Series). They would become the first team to reach the ALCS in four straight years since the 1998-2001 Yankees.

On the flip side, the Athletics are looking to keep their season alive. Erasing an 0-2 series deficit in the LDS is rare but not unprecedented. Most recently, the Yankees came back from down 0-2 against Cleveland in the 2017 ALDS, setting up that matchup with the Astros in the ALCS. Jesus Luzardo will be tasked with keeping Oakland’s season alive.

Yankees bench Sanchez

Tuesday night, the Yankees got cute with their pitching staff and allowed the Rays to tie their ALDS matchup at a game apiece. In Game 3 on Wednesday, they are benching starting catcher Gary Sanchez. Kyle Higashioka, who is best known as Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher, will catch Masahiro Tanaka. Here is New York’s starting lineup:

Sanchez had a brutal regular season, hitting .147/.253/.365 with 64 strikeouts in 49 games. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in Game 2 against the Rays, but hit a two-run home run and had a game-tying ninth inning sacrifice fly in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against Cleveland last week. Manager Aaron Boone called his catching situation “day-to-day” prior to Game 3.

Historically, when a best-of-five series is tied 1-1, the team that wins Game 3 goes on to win the series approximately 70 percent of the time. That’s lower than I would have guessed! A 2-1 series lead is on the line Wednesday.

Kershaw takes the mound for Dodgers

The Dodgers jumped out a 1-0 series lead on Tuesday and they will send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound in Game 2. Kershaw was marvelous in his NLDS Game 2 start, striking out 13 Brewers in eight shutout innings. It was a turn-back-the-clock start for the future Hall of Famer. The entire 2020 season has been, really. Kershaw had a great regular season (6-2, 2.16 ERA).

The Padres have not had a starting pitcher complete three innings in any of their four postseason games. Mike Clevinger exited Game 1 after one-plus innings due to injury, and they’ll send Zach Davies to the mound in Game 2 on Wednesday. Davies had a fantastic regular season (7-4, 2.73 ERA) but allowed four runs in two innings in his NLDS start last week. Davies will try to even the series up at one game apiece for San Diego.

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