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Braves are all gas, no brakes with Game 3 starter decision


The Atlanta Braves are not messing around going with Spencer Strider in Game 3 of the NLDS.

For their two most critical road games of the season, the Atlanta Braves are going with Spencer Strider in Game 3 and Charlie Morton in Game 4 of the 2022 NLDS vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.

Strider made the NLDS roster after missing the final few weeks of the regular season with an oblique injury. Although he has been electrifying in his rookie year for Atlanta, this is unfamiliar territory for him in the postseason. While everybody knew the big-game pitcher Morton would start one of the two games in Philadelphia, moving him back to Game 4 speaks volumes here.

Here is what the decision to start Strider in Game 3 tells Braves Country and the rest of baseball.

Atlanta Braves to start Spencer Strider in Game 4 of the 2022 NLDS on Friday

After dropping Game 1 at home on Tuesday, Atlanta bounced back to win a rain-delayed Game 2 on Wednesday. Max Fried pitched poorly for the Braves in Game 1, while Kyle Wright put forth another gem for Atlanta in Game 2. Although Morton has a reputation for being a big-game pitcher, the move to start Strider ahead of him means two things: Strider is healthy and Atlanta likes its Game 4 odds.

While Strider can be effective in a bullpen role, he became an NL Rookie of the Year candidate once he joined the Atlanta rotation. He may be essentially a two-pitch pitcher, but his fastball and slider combo are borderline unhittable at times. This is why the Braves are going all gas, no brakes in naming him the Game 3 starter. They can take back full control of the series if he does pitch well.

If Braves skipper Brian Snitker were to flip it around and had Morton starting on Friday and Strider on Saturday, it would have put an immense amount of pressure on Morton to win Game 3. This is because Strider is an unknown in the postseason. Going with Strider on Friday gives Morton an extra day to prepare for either sending the series back to Atlanta, or better, getting to the NLCS.

If Strider is able to give the Braves four or five innings of Stache N Gas, Atlanta can win Game 3.



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