For the fifth year in a row, the Braves are NL East champions. They have earned a bye in the first-round and will play either the Cardinals or Phillies in the Divisional Series. In a few days, the Braves will have to release their NLDS roster, but lucky for you, you don’t have to wait that long, because I have a good feeling about how they will approach things.
Of all the groups, this is where the most uncertainty lies. First and foremost, we don’t know if Spencer Strider will be ready for the NLDS. The Braves are hopeful, and he’s taking the necessary steps in the right direction, but one tweak could change everything. Other than that, I included Bryce Elder. I don’t expect him to start a game, but with Kirby Yates injured, I like Elder to take his spot and serve in a mop-up duty role in case one of the games gets out of hand and the Braves need someone to eat innings. Jake Odorizzi is also an option, but I think Elder has shown more over the last month or so.
- Kenley Jansen
- A.J. Minter
- Raisel Iglesias
- Collin McHugh
- Jesse Chavez
- Dylan Lee
- Tyler Matzek
- Jackson Stephens
This group is the same as last time, minus Kirby Yates. Yates is nearing a return from the injured list, but he’s barely pitched this year, and when he has, it hasn’t been crisp. I’m not sure how they could put him on the roster unless there is an injury. All eight of these guys should be locks to make the Braves NLDS roster.
Next. These are the two catchers that will be on the roster.
There’s a chance one of these guys is left off the roster — most likely Guillermo Heredia — but I just don’t know who else the Braves put in his place. Acuña Jr. and Michael Harris II will start every game. Left field is up for grabs, but I see Rosario and potentially Ozuna getting most of the play. Despite his defensive struggles, Ozuna has been hot with the bat, so don’t be surprised to see him start in the outfield or as a designated hitter against lefties.
With Ozzie missing the NLDS, all five of these guys should be shoe-ins to make the Braves playoff roster. The first four is who I believe will start, with Vaughn Grissom serving as the team’s utility man.
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