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Braves Seeing Red – Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves Wild Card Preview
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Braves Seeing Red – Cincinnati Reds vs. Atlanta Braves Wild Card Preview

The Braves are as good as any team in the MLB, when they want to be. But that’s just the issue, they wait to turn it on: if they hope to make a run they will have to flip the switch to on and leave it there. Marcell Ozuna will have to lead that charge and be the All-Star caliber player he can be.

If Thom Brennaman committing career suicide is the worst thing that has happened to your team, then I’d say your doing pretty well. The Reds have had a steady season that wouldn’t wow anyone but it has earned them a berth in the postseason. With bats like Shogo Akiyama coming alive late, the Reds could see themselves peaking at the right time.

 

By the Numbers:

Cincinnati Reds(31-29) Atlanta Braves (40-20)
90 Home runs (7) 103 Home runs (2)
.212 Batting Avg (30) .268 Batting Avg (2)
3.84 ERA (7) 4.41 ERA (15)
.215 Opp Batting Avg (2) .247 Opp Batting Avg (20)

 

This matchup screams 2008 New York Giants vs. New England Patriots to me. On one side you have a team with all the offense you can ask for and solid but beatable defense. On the other, a scrappy team that just knows how to gut out wins when they need to.

If the Braves don’t take this Reds team seriously, it can get ugly quickly for them. Cincinnati has a tough defense lead by a stout bullpen and even though they don’t hit well they make sure you don’t, either. The Braves will need a big push from their batting rotation to take this series.

 

Key Players:

Reds: Shogo Akiyama, Outfielder

2020 Stats: .245 BA – .357 On Base Pct.

Shogo didn’t start the season well but boy did he come on late. His almost .500 on base percentage is over the last 25 games is an MLB best, not to mention he plays some of the best defense in whatever outfield position Cincinnati decides they want him play.

 

Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr., Outfielder

2020 Stats: .250 BA – 14 HR – 29 RBI

All season the Braves have had one man they knew they could lean on for supplemental offense. That man is Ronald Acuña Jr. If Atlanta hopes to rout the Reds they will need him to be as consistent as he has been all season and maybe even more.

 

Prediction:

Braves over Reds

I want to give the Reds this series but Atlanta just has too much offense for them to overcome. Expect this to be over quickly.

About Courtlandt Griffin

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