Atlanta Braves 2021 Season Preview
In 2018 and 2019, the Braves lost in the NLDS after winning the National League East division. In 2020, they advanced to the NLCS, taking the Dodgers to a game seven; the Dodgers advanced to win the World Series.
Brian Snitker, the Braves’ skipper, is entering his fifth full season with the Braves. He was named interim manager after Fredi Gonzalez was fired on October 11, 2016, and he was named full-time manager for the 2017 season.
Potential Atlanta Braves Opening Day Lineup
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (RF – R)
- Ozzie Albies (2B – S)
- Freddie Freeman (1B – L)
- Marcell Ozuna (LF – R)
- Travis d’Arnaud (C – R)
- Dansby Swanson (SS – R)
- Austin Riley (3B – R)
- Cristian Pache (CF – R)
Starting Pitcher Rotation:
Alternative Fantasy Baseball – Atlanta Braves 2021 Preview – OVER 91 WINS
This Atlanta Braves 2021 season preview looks into each part of the Braves’ 2021 team.
Max Fried proved to be an ace in 2020 with an undefeated record in the regular season and a 2.25 ERA. He finished fifth in the Cy Young voting.
Charlie Morton quickly left the Tampa Bay Rays to sign with the Braves in November 2020. Morton went to the World Series with Tampa and had a spectacular postseason. He had a 3-1 record and a 2.70 ERA in the playoffs. However, in the regular season, he had an ERA of 4.97. Morton is a large variable in the Braves rotation. One potential reason for his postseason stats were so much better than the regular season is the shortened season; in 2020 Morton started just nine games.
Ian Anderson is the Braves’ top pitching prospect. He debuted with the Braves in 2020. He stunned everyone in his first start where almost no-hit the Yankees! In 2020, he started five games where he posted a 1.95 ERA. If Anderson proves to be consistent, he could move up a spot in the rotation.
The Braves signed Drew Smyly in November 2020. He played on the San Francisco Giants in 2020. For the Giants, he moved between the bullpen and starting rotation.
The fifth spot in the Braves’ rotation is still up for grabs,k but Kyle Wright seems to be the front-runner. In 2020, he went 2-4 with a 1.553 WHIP and 5.21.
The Braves bullpen is sustained with reliable players like Will Smith, Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek, and A.J. Minter. Jacob Webb and Luke Jackson are a little less consistent but are still mostly strong relievers. Josh Tomlin, Sean Newcomb, Grant Dayton, and other prospects, could be coming up and down from AAA Gwinnett Stripers.
The Braves’ outfield is one of the best in the MLB. Ronald Acuna Jr., and Marcell Ozuna are stellar outfielders. In 2020 they had 14 homers and 18 homers respectively. Ozuna led the NL in home runs, RBIs, and total bases.
Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson are on the left side of the infield. Swanson hit 10 homers and batted .274. He played all 60 games. Riley played in 51 games and blasted 8 homers with an on-base percentage of .301.
On the right side of the infield are Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies. Freeman played every game last year. He led the league with 23 doubles and 51 runs on 13 homers and a .341 batting average. He also won the NL MVP award and a silver slugger award. Ozzie Albies played just 29 games last season but batted .271 with 6 homers and 19 RBIs.
Behind the plate is Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud spent 2013-19 with the Mets before being traded in the middle of the season to the Dodgers. He then played 2019 with the Tampa Bay Rays before signing with the Dodgers in November 2019.
An Atlanta Braves 2021 season preview would be incomplete without looking at their division: the NL East.
The National League East division is not too strong coming into 2021. Only two teams finished the season with a winning record. The Braves and Marlins. In 2020, the Marlins surprised the MLB by reaching the playoffs for the first time since their 2003 World Series Championship. The Phillies and the Nationals both finished with more than 20 wins in the 2020 shortened season, but their weaknesses may be exposed more when they play more teams this season.
The New York Mets are the Braves’ biggest concern. they made numerous acquisitions this offseason such as bringing in Francisco Lindor. The Mets also get back their number two starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, in the middle of the season. The Met’s will then have one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball which is aced by Jacob deGrom.
I think the New York Mets will not reach 93 wins in 2021. The bottom half of their pitching rotation and lineup may expose some weaknesses. The Mets will need to make some midseason trades in order to attempt to make a deep playoff run this year.
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