Braves

Predicting the Braves playoff roster 3.0

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The magic number for the Braves is one with eight games remaining, and I can smell October in the air (even though it’s still 100 degrees across Braves Country). The postseason is almost here, and Brian Snitker will have to finalize his 25-man roster over the next two weeks. By now, most of the spots are locked up, but injuries to Johan Camargo and Charlie Culberson have the 3.0 version of my playoff roster looking slightly different, and there are still a few spots up for grabs.

Starting Pitchers

  1. Dallas Keuchel
  2. Mike Soroka
  3. Max Fried
  4. Mike Foltynewicz
  5. Julio Teheran

Same five as last time, and they are all locks to make the roster. I keep Dallas Keuchel as my #1 entering the postseason even after a shaky performance last time out. His playoff experience gives him the edge, and it should take some pressure off of Soroka. The only difference this week is it has become evident Mike Foltynewicz deserves the final starting spot in the rotation over Julio Teheran. There is way more upside with him, and he’s shown it since returning from Gwinnett, posting a 2.76 ERA in eight starts, and the Braves have won all of those games.

Bullpen

  1. Mark Melancon
  2. Shane Greene
  3. Chris Martin
  4. Sean Newcomb
  5. Luke Jackson
  6. Jerry Blevins
  7. Darren O’Day

The first six here are locks, even Jerry Blevins as a specialist. The seventh spot in the bullpen is up for grabs. I give it to Darren O’Day because of upside. I don’t trust Swarzak anymore and feel like Julio Teheran will fill Josh Tomlin’s long relief role just fine.

Catchers

  1. Brian McCann
  2. Tyler Flowers
  3. Francisco Cervelli

I’m pretty positive the Braves will roll with three catchers, and I think McCann and Flowers will be the primary duo as they have been all season.

Infielders

  1. Freddie Freeman
  2. Josh Donaldson
  3. Ozzie Albies
  4. Dansby Swanson
  5. Adeiny Hechavarria

Nothing changes here from last week. The loss of Johan Camargo is huge, especially if he cannot return at all during the postseason. However, Adeiny Hechavarria has proven to be a quality replacement – but guys – please stop suggesting Hechavarria should start over Dansby Swanson. That is a ridiculous proposition. I don’t care how much Swanson is slumping; I’m dying with my best foot forward.

Outfielders

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr.
  2. Nick Markakis
  3. Matt Joyce
  4. Adam Duvall
  5. Austin Riley

The first three on this list will be on the roster. The final two spots will come down to Adam Duvall, Austin Riley, and Ender Inciarte. I think Duvall is a lock to make it. He’s been rather consistent – for his standard – in the majors and AAA, plays solid defense, and provides a power bat against left-handed starters. For now, I give the edge to Riley for the last spot on the roster over Inciarte – more because of injury than anything. Inciarte is expected to return next week, but who knows what to expect from him. If he does come back healthy, he could warrant a spot over Riley because of his ability to take over in centerfield.

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