Braves: Opening Day Preview

Braves: Ten over/under predictions for 2020

The time has finally come. Sports are returning to television (not counting the occasional game in the KBO, professional corn hole, or even Call of Duty). While I have come to enjoy all of these sports alternatives, I can’t fully express my excitement for Opening Day in words. I plan on buying a six-pack of Jeff Francoeur’s signature Terrapin beer Frenchy’s Blues, sitting in front of the TV, with no plans of movement for the day other than the previously mentioned 12-ounce curls up to my mouth.

Pitchers

Opening Day features Mike Soroka on the mound for the Braves, as he will become the youngest Opening Day starter in franchise history — quite a feat when you consider some of the pitchers that have donned a Braves uniform. The 22-year-old out of Canada did nothing but impress last season, posting a 2.68 ERA (top 5 in all of baseball) and a 13-4 win-loss record. 

The New York Mets will be starting Jacob DeGrom. Despite all of the worries about his back being tight, the MRIs came back negative, and he will be first on the hill at Citi Field. While manager Luis Rojas says that DeGrom is fine, he will still be on a pitch count. When healthy, the Met’s ace is as elite as they come, posting a 2.43 ERA last season with 255 strikeouts. 

Braves

1. Ronald Acuña Jr.

2. Ozzie Albies

3. Freddie Freeman

4. Marcell Ozuna

5. Matt Adams

6. Austin Riley

7. Dansby Swanson

8. Ender Inciarte

9. Alex Jackson

Key Players

Freddie Freeman is going to be a key player in this matchup for many obvious reasons. Recovering from COVID was very hard for him, especially due to the nasty 104.5 fever that came with the virus. However, he says that he is feeling fine and played in both exhibition games against the Marlins. Look for him to continue his success against DeGrom, given that he’s posted a .278 average and a .361 on-base percentage over his career when the two face off. Freddie has been one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball, and with the protection of Ozuna in the lineup, it should be another MVP caliber campaign for the first baseman.

Catcher is another position to monitor. The Braves announced that Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers are out for the game. This means that we will see Alex Jackson in the Opening Day lineup, and hopefully, a little bit of top prospect, William Contreras. The season hasn’t even officially started, and it’s already apparent how much depth will play a factor.

Mets

  1. Brandon Nimmo
  2. Jeff McNeil
  3. Pete Alonso
  4. Michael Conforto
  5. Yoenis Cespedes
  6. Robinson Cano
  7. J.D. Davis
  8. Wilson Ramos
  9. Amed Rosario

Key Players

The first baseman for the Mets is also going to be my key player here. Pete Alonso had the most homers by a rookie in MLB history last season, clobbering 53 longballs. During the first half, he posted 30 homers with a .280 batting average. However, while the second half of the season saw the same power, there was a considerable dip in his average, as he hit .235. It’ll be interesting to see which Alonso the Mets are going to get to start the season.

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