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Championship Series Day 6 Open Thread: Rookies take the mound

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It’s the rise of the rookie, as Cleveland and Los Angeles send youngsters to take on veterans in the two series.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The ALCS has one game left in Toronto, and the Blue Jays beat Corey Kluber on three days’ rest yesterday to ensure that it would be played. They still trail 3-1 in the series, but now they get to face Ryan Merritt, a 24-year-old left-hander with just one major-league start and 11 career innings to his name. The injuries to Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer really have Cleveland in a bind, so that’s why Merritt gets the start. It would be the most baseball thing in the world to see him come up big anyway and for Cleveland to beat Marco Estrada en route to the pennant.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers took a surprising 2-1 lead over the Cubs in the NLCS last night by taking down Jake Arrieta. In Game 4, 20-year-old Julio Urias will become the youngest man in major-league history to make a playoff start, as he faces the veteran John Lackey for the Cubs. That one could honestly go either way; Urias is that talented. The Cubs will be obviously be in enormous trouble if they lose this and face elimination tomorrow night still on the road, possibly against Clayton Kershaw (update: nah, it’s Kenta Maeda).

Here’s the game info for each:

ALCS Game 5: Indians vs. Blue Jays
Rogers Centre (Toronto, ON)
4:08 pm, TBS
Ryan Merritt vs. Marco Estrada

NLCS Game 4: Cubs vs. Dodgers
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
8:08 pm, FS1
John Lackey vs. Julio Urias

Enjoy the games!

Today's Lineups

Carlos Santana - 1B Jose Bautista - RF
Jason Kipnis - 2B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Francisco Lindor - SS Edwin Encarnacion - 1B
Mike Napoli - DH Troy Tulowitzki - SS
Jose Ramirez - 3B Russell Martin - C
Lonnie Chisenhall - RF Melvin Upton Jr. - DH
Coco Crisp - LF Ezequiel Carrera - LF
Tyler Naquin - CF Kevin Pillar - CF
Roberto Perez - C Darwin Barney - 2B
Ryan Merritt - LHP Marco Estrada - RHP
Dexter Fowler - CF Chase Utley - 2B
Kris Bryant - 3B Corey Seager - SS
Anthony Rizzo - 1B Justin Turner - 3B
Ben Zobrist - LF Adrian Gonzalez - 1B
Javier Baez - 2B Josh Reddick - RF
Willson Contreras - C Joc Pederson - CF
Jason Heyward - RF Yasmani Grandal - C
Addison Russell - SS Andrew Toles - LF
John Lackey - RHP Julio Urias - LHP