World News – US – This rotation isn’t « Vintage Braves, » but Atlanta makes it work


It might have been in Major League Baseball’s new best of three jokers, but the Atlanta Braves’ series victory over the Cincinnati Reds last week was long in coming. At the start of those playoffs, Atlanta hadn’t won a playoff since beating the Houston Astros in the 2001 National League Division Series The next 19 years saw Atlanta move from its division streak era – led by three aces and many other icons – through a short three-post-season offer with Jason Heyward and Brian McCann leading the way, and finally in the lead with the nucleus of this current club: Ronald Acuña Jr, Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies1

Now that it’s ended the drought in playoff wins, Atlanta is hoping to walk even further in the playoffs, and our prediction model gives the Braves the second-best chance of making it into the World Series of anywhere. what an NL team… behind only the behemoth Los Angeles Dodgers (Small detail!) If they do, Atlanta will have to rely on one of the least tested rotations of all time, but one that has proven to be a force unexpected vs. Cincinnati – and a lineup and enclosure that’s sure to provide a lot of help, too

The Braves’ biggest Achilles heel of all season has started throwing Although southpaw Max Fried has had a great season, putting 22 wins above substitution2 (the equivalent of 60 in a season of 162 games) with a 7-0 record and a 2-point average of 25 points earned, the rotation as a whole was hampered by injuries and other issues With Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels sidelined for most of the season – and 2019 starter Mike Foltynewicz banned from active roster for poor performance early on – Braves rookies have collectively produced just 42 WAR in total this season, which placed 27th in baseball As the Division Series against the Miami Marlins approaches, Atlanta finds itself watching a cobblestone rotation made up of Fried, a pair of rookies – Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright – and a still unknown fourth option, if needed

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz it’s not (Not yet, at least) In fact, Atlanta rolls with what is probably the least accomplished rotation in modern playoff history Among the fries (58), Anderson (12) and Wright (-04), Atlanta’s top three presumers produced 66 total regular-season wars in their pre-playoff careers Among teams that used at least three playoff starters Since the MLB playoffs first developed in 1969, no other rotation has been in the top three with fewer lifetime WARs before the playoffs:

Career regular season (playoff) less WAR for top three playoff team starters, 1969-2020

It’s a bit unfair for the Braves trio as their pitchers haven’t had a full schedule in 2020 But even though we prorate Fried, Anderson and Wright’s 2020 WAR to 162 tag team games , they would arrive with a total of only 126 – which would rank them third on the above list Either way, it highlights just how much the Atlanta-based starting pitcher can count as he tries to ride a deep playoff run

It wasn’t obvious against Cincinnati Fried and Anderson combined to knock out 14 Reds hitters (walking just two) in 13 innings during the wild round, in a dominant performance that saw the Braves pitchers allow no points in total in 22 innings (Game 1 was a 13-end marathon that Atlanta ultimately won, 1-0, on a no-freeman single, although Cincinnati was not an elite hitting team during the regular season, finishing 23rd in weighted points created over (wRC), it was always impressive to see the patchwork staff of the Braves limit Joey Votto, Jesse Winker and company to an average 169 and a 411 OPS while keeping them scoreless in the series For longtime Braves watchers, it might even have brought back memories of the dismantling of Atlanta from the Cincinnati squad en route to the 1995 World Series

Braves coach Brian Snitker is hopeful his young starters can replicate that effort against a Marlins’ offense that was ranked below par (18th) by the WRC during the regular season – albeit one that produced a slightly above-average 711 OPS score against the Chicago Cubs in a wild card sweep But he’s also aware that he may have to ask a lot from his pen in the future It may even require a performance like the San Diego Padres’ nine-relay win in Game 3 of their wildcard round last week against the St Louis Cardinals

« I would be very confident we could put something similar in place, » Snitker told reporters when asked to compare the pen strategies with what San Diego has done and Atlanta has had the Third-best majors field by WAR during the regular season Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, Tyler Matzek, Grant Dayton, unJ Minter, Chris Martin and Darren O’Day each posted GPAs below 280, which is about 70% higher than the league average But managing their workload will nevertheless be tricky, given the uncertainties of the rotation

« I think the bullpen is going to be a challenge, I’m just trying to spread it out to keep the guys available, » Snitker said. « Realistically, guys could go four out of five [days ] It’s the playoffs I probably wouldn’t like to do this, but maybe we should « 

Luckily for Snitker, the Braves roster remain his team’s greatest strength Atlanta missed out on the MLB lead in single-run runs, finishing with 348 to the Dodgers’ 349 In a full season of 162 games , Atlanta’s tally extrapolates to 940 races, which would have been the biggest in franchise history since the Boston Beaneaters scored 1,008 points in 1893 Four members of the 2020 Braves’ starting lineup – Freeman (187), Acuña (159), Marcell Ozuna (179) and Travis d’Arnaud (145) – had WRC scores of 145 or higher (meaning that they achieved at least 45% better than average), and three other members – Albies, Dansby Swanson and Adam Duvall – were at least above average although NL ERA frontman Trevor Bauer of Cincinnati and the company kept the Atlanta hitters under control for most of Game 1, they erupted late in Game 2 to seal the streak

That explosion was sparked by a gigantic home run from the underrated Ozuna, an ex-Marlin, and the Atlanta hitters should be as dangerous as ever this week against Miami, the same team they scored 29 against. mind-boggling points in September 9

We’re currently giving the Braves a 71% chance of overtaking the Marlins to join the NLCS Of course, if they succeed, there’s a 73% chance that the Dodgers will be waiting for them Famously, the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, while the Braves last won it in 1995 But it was also the only championship won by one of Atlanta’s major professional sports teams3 in more than 50 years since the Braves left Milwaukee and the Falcons were added to the NFL. Sneakily, Atlanta has built one of the most underachieving sports CVs of any major city, and that’s without even wondering how its teams have sometimes lost. In terms of talent, this Braves team is one of the strongest entries in Atlanta’s sporting canon during this drought.Now all it has to do – easier said than done – is keep going. to win, for once

Do you want to feel old? Acuña was 3 years old when Chipper Jones and his company won this 2001 series

Using our JEFFBAGWELL metric to mix WAR with Baseball-Referencecom and FanGraphs, for which you can download data every day this season

Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, National League Division Series, Major League Baseball postseason

World news – US – This rotation is not « Vintage Braves », but Atlanta makes it work



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