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Gamethread: Houston at Atlanta (World Series Game 3)

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Entering Friday night, the series is about as 50-50 as they come

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves
Tall order: Ian Anderson has been terrific this postseason, but he will face a tough lineup in Game 3.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves raced out to a big lead and never looked back in Game 1, but nearly everything came up Astros in Game 2. As a result, the series shifts to Atlanta with the teams being tied at one win.

Right-handed pitcher Ian Anderson will start on the mound for the Braves. The 23-year-old was drafted third overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. It is still early, but Anderson is off to a strong start to his major league career. After posting 1.1 fWAR despite pitching only 32 13 innings in 2020, Anderson was solid again for the Braves in 2021. In 128 13 MLB innings during the regular season, Anderson posted a 3.58 ERA, 4.30 xERA, and 4.12 FIP, rendering him a 1.9-fWAR pitcher. Anderson has pitched admirably this postseason, and he has a 1.47 ERA to show for his efforts. His postseason FIP is 2.73, and opposing hitters have slashed only .179/.276/.241 against him.

Luis García, another right-handed pitcher, will be the starter for the Astros. García posted a 3.30 ERA, 3.98 xERA, and a 3.63 FIP in 155 13 regular season innings. As a result, García was a 3.1-fWAR pitcher this season. The playoffs have been a struggle for the 24-year-old, however. In three postseason games, García has posted a 9.64 ERA and a 5.63 FIP, with opposing hitters slashing .216/.341/.459 against him. García struggled immensely against the White Sox, resulting in the South Siders’ only playoff victory of 2021.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

According to FiveThirtyEight, both teams have a 50% chance of winning the World Series. FanGraphs is a bit more bullish on Houston, giving the Astros a 54.4% chance of winning it all.

Tonight’s game will start at 7:09 Central, Fox will televise it, and ESPN will have the radio coverage.