Even after a couple of losses, the Braves essentially put a bowtie on everything they needed to accomplish by winning three out of four on the road against the Dodgers over the weekend. They are now 14.5 games up on the Phillies for the NL East, which will be their sixth consecutive division title, and are six games clear of the Dodgers for the best record in the NL.
Unless something dramatic happens over the last few weeks of the season, the Braves will go into October as the top seed in the National League. Here’s how I would expect Atlanta’s postseason roster to look if Game 1 of the NLDS was tomorrow. This is my third edition and there will be at least a couple of more between now and the start of the playoffs.
Nothing changes here still. Max Fried was dominant against the Dodgers, and Bryce Elder turned in another gem. All four of these starting pitchers are deserving of a spot on the NLDS roster right now, but I’m not totally counting Kyle Wright out. His upside makes him an intriguing candidate, and he looked fantastic his last time out in Gwinnett, tossing 3.2 innings of scoreless ball with seven strikeouts.
- Raisel Iglesias
- A.J. Minter
- Joe Jimenez
- Pierce Johnson
- Kirby Yates
- Michael Tonkin
- Dylan Lee
- Jesse Chavez
- Kyle Wright
This will continue to be the most competitive battle when it comes to the final spots on the Braves postseason roster, and a lot of it will depend on the health of a few guys coming back. I think the top six on this list are locks. Kirby Yates isn’t always the easiest reliever to watch, but the results are really all that matters. Dylan Lee is back, and unless he implodes over the final few weeks, his spot should be safe, given he’s one of the only other lefty options out of the Braves bullpen. Then, I went with Jesse Chavez and Kyle Wright.
I’m not sure if Chavez will be healthy enough to return this season, but I like him to make the roster if he does. Nick Anderson could also be an option if he can make his way back. The final spot belongs to Wright. The Braves haven’t suggested he will pitch out of the bullpen, but I just can’t justify including Collin McHugh with the way he has looked this season. In fact, as I was writing this, he’s been placed on the 15-day IL. It looks like his season very well could be over. If the Braves need someone to eat innings and keep them in a game after a poor start, I would definitely rather go with Wright over McHugh.
As always, there’s nothing to see here.
Not much to discuss here, either. The top four are starters, and Lopez has established himself firmly as the team’s utility man since being acquired at the trade deadline.
These six seem most likely to make the roster as well. The top five have all been staples of the team since Opening Day, and Wall adds some spice as a pinch runner that can swipe a bag if needed late in a game.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire