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NLDS Game 1 Open Thread: Rockies vs. Brewers, Braves vs. Dodgers

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The playoffs start for real on Thursday. Join us to talk about Game 1 of the National League Division Series!

Wild Card Game - Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Colorado Rockies (91-72) at Milwaukee Brewers (96-67)

Time/Place: 5:05 p.m., Miller Park
Series: 0-0
SB Nation sites: Purple Row and Brew Crew Ball
Media: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Go
Pitching Matchup: RHP Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.38 ERA) vs. RHP Brandon Woodruff (3-0, 3.61 ERA)

NLDS Game 1 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Senzatela 90.1 17.7 7.7 4.17 1.2
Woodruff 42.1 26.7 8.0 3.30 0.5

After watching them throw their two best pitchers on Monday and Tuesday in order to just get to the NLDS, you would think the Rockies would be the team running out their bullpen to get through Game 1. Instead, the Brewers will try to piece together Thursday’s game, saving their starters — a middling group at best, if we’re being honest — for Game 2 and onward. First up will be Brandon Woodruff, who could eventually move to the rotation in 2019. Here’s what our friends at Brew Crew Ball had to say about their “initial out-getter.”

Woodruff has made four starts in his nineteen appearances for Milwaukee this season. He has a 3.61 ERA, with a nice 3.36 xFIP to back that up. His WHIP of 1.181 is better than last season, and his use in the pen has allowed him to ramp up his fastball velocity from a 94.7 mph average last season to 95.8 this year.

He is also using that fastball more, throwing it 62.8% of the time compared to 60.5% of his deliveries last season. Slider usage is down from 27% usage last year to 23.3% this. Slider velocity is up, too, to 87.4 mph from 86.2 mph in 2017. He has used his curveball and sinker very infrequently in 2018.

On the other side, Senzatela started the year in the Rockies’ bullpen. He was not very good in April, however, allowing 13 runs (12 earned) in his first 17 13 innings. This earned him a trip to Triple-A Albuquerque, and he found himself on the disabled list a few weeks later. Senzatela returned to action in late May, and returned to the majors in early July. He had a couple more short stints on the DL in July and August, but made 13 starts for the Rockies from July 1 onward.

Somehow, they went well. There’s not much in Senzatela’s profile that suggests he would be an above-average starter long-term — especially not at Coors Field — but things seemingly clicked for him this year. He managed a 3.95 ERA in those 13 starts, and posted a 4.15 FIP as a starter. Improvements in his walk and home run rates (compared to his relief innings) certainly helped, but he only struck out 17.7 percent of the hitters he faced this year.

Honestly, his entire profile is weird. He looks like a power pitcher — he averages 94-95 miles per hour with his fastball, and heavily leans on his sider as a secondary pitch — but only generates whiffs on 8.4 percent of his pitches. And despite throwing his fastball or slider roughly 90 percent of the time, righties hit .267/.327/.485 against him (compared to a .696 OPS for lefties).

NLDS Game 1 Lineups

ROCKIES BREWERS
ROCKIES BREWERS
Charlie Blackmon - CF Lorenzo Cain - CF
DJ LeMahieu - 2B Christian Yelich - RF
Nolan Arenado - 3B Ryan Braun - LF
David Dahl - LF Travis Shaw - 2B
Trevor Story - SS Jesus Aguilar - 1B
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Mike Moustakas - 3B
Ian Desmond - 1B Manny Pina - C
Chris Iannetta - C Orlando Arcia - SS
A. Senzatela - RHP Brandon Woodruff - RHP

Atlanta Braves (90-72) at Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71)

Time/Place: 8:37 p.m., Dodger Stadium
Series: 0-0
SB Nation sites: Talking Chop and True Blue LA
Media: MLB Network, MLB.TV (maybe?)
Pitching Matchup: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (13-10, 2.85 ERA) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 1.97 ERA)

NLDS Game 1 Pitching Matchup

Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Pitcher IP K% BB% FIP fWAR
Foltynewicz 183.0 27.2 9.1 3.37 3.9
Ryu 82.1 27.5 4.6 3.00 2.0

NLDS Game 1 Lineups

BRAVES DODGERS
BRAVES DODGERS
Ronald Acuna - LF Joc Pederson - LF
Johan Camargo - 3B Justin Turner - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B Max Muncy - 1B
Nick Markakis - RF Manny Machado - SS
Tyler Flowers - C Yasmani Grandal - C
Ozzie Albies - 2B Cody Bellinger - CF
Ender Inciarte - CF Yasiel Puig - RF
Charlie Culberson - SS Enrique Hernandez - 2B
Mike Foltynewicz - RHP Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP