Predicting the Braves Opening Day Roster 2.0

Ozzie Albies return Braves

We are just over a week away from the season, which means it’s time for my version 2.0 of the Braves Opening Day roster predictions. A few things have happened since my initial version. First and foremost, we found out rosters will be expanded from 26 to 28 for the first month of the season, which will allow for a couple of more pitchers to make the team. We also were made aware that Luke Jackson is suffering from forearm tightness, which means it’s unlikely he’ll be ready for Opening Day. With that in mind, let’s take another stab at this.

Starting Rotation

1. Max Fried

2. Charlie Morton

3. Ian Anderson

4. Kyle Wright

5. Huascar Ynoa

6. Tucker Davidson


With the expanded rosters, I expect the Braves to use a six-man rotation. Brian Snitker has mentioned it before, and they begin the season with 14 games in 14 days. The first three names on this list are the only locks, but it’s looking more and more likely that Wright and Ynoa will join them on Opening Day. The sixth spot in the rotation could go a number of different ways. I talked about Spencer Strider potentially making the rotation out of Spring Training, but I still think it’s more likely we see Tucker Davidson or Kyle Muller. I went with Davidson.

Starting Lineup

1. Eddie Rosario (RF)

2. Ozzie Albies (2B)

3. Matt Olson (1B)

4. Austin Riley (3B)

5. Marcell Ozuna (LF)

6. Adam Duvall (CF)

7. Travis d’Arnaud (C)

8. Manny Pina (DH)

9. Dansby Swanson (SS)


When Ronald Acuna returns, this lineup will be much clearer, but he won’t be ready for Opening Day. Hopefully, he can DH before the calendar flips to May. Until then, I think this is how the lineup will look on most nights.


1. Alex Dickerson

2. Guillermo Heredia

3. Orlando Arcia

4. Brock Holt


I stuck with the same four members of the bench as well. This group leaves a lot to be desired, but I don’t see the Braves leaving Dickerson, Arcia, or Heredia off the roster. That leaves one spot up for grabs, which I gave to Brock Holt again. He has two hits in his five Spring Training at-bats thus far and tons of major-league experience. The Braves have a decision upcoming with Holt, though, so we should have a better idea of how they feel about him. By April 2nd, they must either release him, give him a retention bonus, or guarantee his spot on the roster.


1. Kenley Jansen

2. Will Smith

3. Tyler Matzek

4. Collin McHugh

5. A.J. Minter

6. Sean Newcomb

7. Darren O’Day

8. Tyler Thornburg

9. Dylan Lee


The Braves bullpen is an embarrassment of riches, but there are some openings with Luke Jackson unlikely to begin the season on the Opening Day roster. The first five names on this list are locked in. After that, I decided to go with some older arms.

Newcomb has no options left, and even though he hasn’t looked great so far in Spring Training, I think the Braves will give him one last opportunity before cutting the cord. O’Day is on a minor-league deal like Brock Holt. The Braves will have to decide whether they want to keep him in the coming days, and I have a feeling they will. Thornburg has looked decent in Spring Training, and the final spot I gave to Dylan Lee, who is a very deserving candidate.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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