Braves: Predicting the postseason starting lineup

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I’ve kept updating the potential playoff roster, which has continuously changed – mostly because of injuries. Now that we are officially division champs, it’s time to take a look at what the starting lineups might look like in the postseason. There will obviously be two different orders – one versus right-handed pitchers and one versus lefties.

Lineup vs. RHP

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (CF)
  2. Ozzie Albies (2B)
  3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
  4. Josh Donaldson (3B)
  5. Nick Markakis (LF)
  6. Matt Joyce (RF)
  7. Brian McCann (C)
  8. Dansby Swanson (SS)
  9. Pitcher’s spot

This one is fairly straightforward. Amid all the injuries, Matt Joyce has emerged as a starting-caliber player. The Braves have made it clear he is going to be the right fielder going forward against righties, who he has a .413 OBP and .883 OPS against this season. The lefty McCann will also receive the start, and Swanson rounds out the lineup in the eighth spot. He could move up if he can find his groove again, but he’s not a bad option to hit right before the pitcher.

Lineup vs. LHP

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (CF)
  2. Ozzie Albies (2B)
  3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
  4. Josh Donaldson (3B)
  5. Nick Markakis (RF)
  6. Adam Duvall (LF)
  7. Dansby Swanson (SS)
  8. Tyler Flowers (C)
  9. Pitcher’s spot

The top five in the order is not changing no matter who is on the bump. Despite what many might think about Nick Markakis, he hasn’t missed a beat in his return and is one of the most consistent and clutch hitters in all of baseball. The sixth spot might still be up in the air, and that is only because Duvall isn’t a guarantee to make the roster. I have him starting over Austin Riley because, for the first time in his career, he’s been rather consistent – even though most of his success came in AAA. However, I think he’s done more than enough to earn that spot over Riley, who just hasn’t been able to find a rhythm since June. Dansby Swanson hits seventh before Tyler Flowers. Some people might have Cervelli as the starting catcher against lefties, but Flowers has bounced back nicely as of late, and his familiarity with the pitching staff will undoubtedly play a factor.

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