All four of Major League Baseball’s best-of-five League Division Series are in action Thursday. There are a pair of NLDS Game 3s and a pair of ALDS Game 4s. All four teams that own a series lead have a chance to move on to the Championship Series. In the NL, the Dodgers and Braves can both complete series sweeps while the Astros and Rays will look to close out their respective AL series. Here are the day’s scores and a look ahead to the action.

MLB playoff TV schedule, scores

  • Braves at Marlins, 2:08 p.m.ET (FS1) — Atlanta leads series 2-0
  • Astros at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. ET (TBS) — Houston leads series 2-1
  • Rays at Yankees, 7:10 p.m. ET (TBS) — Tampa Bay leads series 2-1
  • Padres at Dodgers, 9:08 p.m. ET (MLBN) — Los Angeles leads series 2-0

Sanchez will try to keep Marlins season alive

The Atlanta Braves will look to complete their sweep over the Miami Marlins in the National League Division Series. Historically, teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five have gone on to win the series approximately 91 percent of the time.

A playoff series win for Atlanta would end the Marlins all-time undefeated playoff series record. Miami has won their first seven postseason series; during their 1997, 2003 World Series runs (the only two times the franchise was in the postseason) up until now.

The Braves will be sending right-hander Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.21 ERA) to the mound to make his postseason debut. Thursday’s game will be Wright’s first appearance since Sept. 25, when he allowed two runs in a career-high 6 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. Wright returned to the big league club following a midseason demotion to the alternate site. Miami will counter with rookie right-hander Sixto Sanchez (3-2, 3.46 ERA). Sanchez is coming off a brilliant performance vs. the Cubs in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card round, where he allowed just four hits in five innings while striking out six.

Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson have been hot for the Braves. Swanson homered in each of the first two games of this series, while d’Arnaud is 6-for-15 with two home runs through the first four games of the postseason. Over the last 14 innings, the Marlins have managed just six hits and one run. Miami third baseman baseman Brian Anderson is four-for-six in the series.

The Braves haven’t reached the NLCS since 2001. A series win Thursday would keep Atlanta’s 2020 postseason record at a perfect 5-0; the club swept the Reds in the NL Wild Card Series.

Astros on verge of ALCS berth

After the Athletics rallied to keep their season alive in Game 3 on Wednesday, they’ll have to fight back again as the Astros hold a 2-1 series advantage heading into Thursday’s Game 4.

The A’s had previously lost six straight elimination games. In this postseason alone, the A’s managed to win three straight win-go-home games. They took Games 2 and 3 over the White Sox in the AL Wild Card Series and are coming off avoiding an early exit in the ALDS with a comeback Game 3 win.

Oakland right-hander Frankie Montas will face Houston right-hander Cristian Javier in the matchup. Expect to see more homers in Game 4. The A’s hit a franchise record five home runs in their Game 3 win, and all in all, the Athletics and Astros have combined for 18 home runs (so far) in this Division Series. For what it’s worth, that’s not just a trend for this series. In fact, we’re seeing the majority of runs in this year’s postseason getting scored on home runs.

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.

Montgomery tasked with keeping New York’s season alive

The Yankees season is on the line in Thursday’s Game 4. After New York tried to beat Tampa at their own game with a failed opener strategy in Game 2, the Yankees missed out on jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. Instead, after Wednesday’s Game 3 loss, the Rays are now one win away from outing their AL East rival from the 2020 playoffs.

The Rays will send out an opener of their own in right-hander Ryan Thompson for Game 4, while the Yankees are leaving it up to lefty Jordan Montgomery to help keep New York’s season alive. Montgomery is making his postseason debut.

The Yankees have fought their way out of a 2-1 deficit in the ALDS twice before. In 2001 against the Athletics and more recently, in 2017 against Cleveland. Giancarlo Stanton has hit six home runs and notched 13 RBI in five postseason games this year. He’s the first MLB player to homer in each of his team’s first five games of a postseason. The breakout star for the Rays, meanwhile, has been rookie outfielder Randy Arozarena. He’s hit a home run in three consecutive games in the ALDS.

Dodgers look to close out rival Padres

The Padres came awfully close to stealing Game 2 from the Dodgers — Cody Bellinger robbed the go-ahead homer from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Joe Kelly shut down any further damage in the ninth inning — but now they’ll be fighting to avoid a NLDS sweep Thursday night at Globe Life Field. One more victory for the Dodgers would earn the club their fourth NLCS in five years.

The Padres appear to be going with a bullpen game Thursday, opening with rookie left-hander Adrian Morejon. San Diego’s pitching depth took a hit with the absences of Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet. Clevinger exited his Game 1 start with an injury, while Lamet did not make the Padres’ NLDS roster. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not yet officially announced his Game 3 starter.


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