Last year’s NL MVP is off to a sluggish start, recording just two hits in his first 18 at-bats (.111 average). One of those knocks did leave the yard, though, and in typical Freddie fashion, he already has five walks — the most on the team (Marcell Ozuna is next with three).
On top of that, the Braves first baseman appears to be the subject of some poor BABIP luck. Despite hitting well below the Mendoza Line, Freeman is rated extremely high in nearly every advanced statistic. According to Baseball Savant, he ranks in the 83rd percentile when it comes to exit velocity, 91st percentile in hard-hit %, 89th percentile in xwOBA, 93rd percentile in xSLG, and 75th percentile in barrel %. The 2020 NL MVP is doing everything he typically does at the plate, just without much luck.
It’s only a matter of time before things begin to swing in Freeman’s direction, and he has a perfect opportunity in tonight’s home opener against Zack Wheeler to get started. Freddie has terrorized Wheeler over his career, racking up 17 hits, including two homers, and 13 walks in just 52 plate appearances. That’s good for an absurd .577 OBP and 1.287 OPS. Hopefully, that success continues tonight as the Braves look for revenge after the Phillies swept them to begin the season.
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