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October 13, 2017

Yasmani Grandal has the higher profile and will likely start Game 1 behind the plate, but you might not see him much after that. While Grandal ranked fourth among catchers with 22 homers and is an elite pitch framer, the 27-year-old Barnes, despite his backup designation, has simply been the better player in his first full big league season. He’s also in the top ten in pitch framing, but trailed only Justin Turner among Dodgers in OBP, at .408, exactly 100 points higher than Grandal’s. In fact, his .895 OPS ranked first in baseball among catchers with more than 200 plate appearances. While Grandal remains Clayton Kershaw’s catcher of choice, all other NLCS starts could go to Barnes—as well they should.

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