The 2021 World Series is even at 1-1.
Game 3 figures to be pivotal, and it’ll be played at Truist Park — home of the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta will have the benefit of playing each of the next three games of this series at home.
If the Braves can find a way to rip off three straight victories in their home ballpark, then they’ll end up celebrating their first World Series title since 1995.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Atlanta needs to take things one game at a time, starting with Game 3 on Friday.
Here are two Braves batters who are poised to have a big night against Luis Garcia and the Houston Astros in Game 3.
2. Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson has a LOT of World Series experience under his belt.
He played in the World Series in 2017, 2018, 2020, and now 2021.
For the most part, he has enjoyed massive amounts of success in the World Series.
- In the 2017 World Series, he batted .333 with a 1.344 OPS, and he recorded a hit in all six games the he appeared in
- In the 2018 World Series, he struggled a bit, but he did blast a crucial home run in one of the games
- In the 2020 World Series, he was back to his old habits, batting .400 with a 1.200 OPS en route to the title
Clearly, the 29-year-old isn’t afraid of the moment.
And for that reason, it seems like he’s primed for a big game in the 2021 World Series.
He’s just 1-for-8 in the series so far, but there’s plenty of time for that to change.
He’ll have the benefit of facing a right-handed starter (Garcia) in Game 3.
Luis Garcia will start Game 3 for the #Astros.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 26, 2021
For his career, Pederson has an OPS of .832 against righties and .610 against lefties.
Friday’s matchup obviously favors Pederson.
We’ll see if he can capitalize on that.
1. Freddie Freeman
Of course, Freddie Freeman tops this list.
The 32-year-old has a fantastic postseason track record, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time until he’ll have a monster World Series game.
For his career, Freeman has a playoff slash line of .286/.395/.493.
In the 2021 playoffs, he has a slash line of .293/.434/.561.
And in the 2021 World Series, he’s 2-for-7 (.286) thus far.
He’s completely capable of taking a game (or series) over, which is essentially what happened over the final few games of the 2021 NLCS.
From Game 3 of the NLCS through the end of the series, he posted an absurd OPS of 1.632 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There’s no telling if the Braves would have won that series without him.
Braves Captain Freddie Freeman NLCS Highlights pic.twitter.com/fbfiK5fOvh
— Hardball Highlights™ (@BallplayerVault) October 25, 2021
Now, Atlanta needs its superstar again.
If Freeman can get hot in Game 3 of this series against Houston and find a way to stay hot for the remainder of the series, then the Astros are going to be in big trouble.
We’ll see if Freeman can rattle the Astros’ Garcia — who is pitching in the World Series at just 24 year of age — in the early stages of Game 3.
Setting the tone early would likely go a long way toward a potential Braves victory.