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Saturday MLB Championship Series open thread

The NLCS and ALCS are reaching a dramatic conclusion...or at least we hope so.

American League Championship Series Game 1: Tampa Bay Rays v. Houston Astros Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Not so long ago there was concern that the two LCS matchups would be wrapped up in a pair of quick sweeps or shortly thereafter. The Rays stormed out to a 3-0 lead over the Astros while the Braves took command of their series two games to none.

Just a few days later we all find ourselves in a very different situation.

The Rays are now in danger of doing something that only the 2004 Yankees have done before them, losing a playoff series after going up 3-0. This instance would, perhaps, be even more catastrophic as the vast majority of baseball fans are pulling for Tampa to beat the Houston Astros, a team that is still made up of plenty of players that were part of their sign stealing scandal from a few seasons ago.

The series going on in Texas has been more even throughout with Dodgers and Braves alternating wins over the last four games. It’s been said many times before, but a loss for the Dodgers today would end yet another year of a World Series window that feels like it has been open for longer than could reasonably be expected. With a solid young core still intact, it could very well remain open for a few years more, although Clayton Kershaw’s chances of being a part of the roster that ends up going all the way would diminish.

Here are the games on tap for today:

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers, 4:38 p.m. ET, FS1

  • Atlanta leads 3-2 in the series

Max Fried is on the mound for Atlanta. He last pitched in Game 1 of this series, when he allowed just one run on on four hits, two walks and nine strikeouts over six innings of work. He will be opposed by Walker Buehler. The right hander has just a .170 batting average against this postseason, but he has also allowed 11 walks in 13 innings pitched.

Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays, 8:37 p.m. ET, TBS

  • Series is tied 3-3

This is what postseason baseball is all about. Game 7’s have all of the drama that we love about sports. It’s win or go home. So, while the starters in this game are Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton, neither will have an especially long leash if they get into trouble of any kind. Tampa manager Kevin Cash won’t want to go down as the guy that blew a 3-0 series lead, while Dusty Baker would like another shot at the World Series title that has evaded him as a skipper.