What will the Braves rotation look like in the NLDS?

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The Braves NLDS will feature a plethora of elite pitching matchups. Yesterday, Mark Bowman reported that Charlie Morton would receive the ball in Game 1.

I think Max Fried deserves it more, given he’s been the best pitcher in baseball since the All-Star break, but you can’t really argue with Snitker for going with Morton, who has been the most consistent arm for the Braves all season and has a track record of success in the postseason. The 37-year-old veteran will likely be up against NL Cy Young candidate Corbin Burnes of the Brewers and his league-leading 2.43 ERA. And what’s even crazier about that is Burnes’ minuscule 1.63 FIP actually suggests he’s been really unlucky this season.

The pitching matchups for Games 2 and 3 aren’t set yet, but I imagine this is how it will play out. Fried will get the ball in Game 2 against Brandon Woodruff, and Ian Anderson will toe the rubber when the Braves return to Truist Park against Freddy Peralta. After that, the Braves could go in several directions.

A logical choice would be Huascar Ynoa, but he’s struggled as of late, and the Braves could opt to use him in relief, much like they used Max Fried in the playoffs back in 2018 and 2019. Brian Snitker could also choose to go with a complete bullpen game; however, I wouldn’t think that’s the most conducive way to win, considering just how inconsistent the Braves relief core has been all season. The other option for Atlanta in Game 4 could be Morton on short rest. If the Braves find themselves down 2-1, I expect them to go in this direction.

Who takes the mound in a winner-take-all Game 5 will have a lot to do with how the Braves approach Game 4, but it will either be Max Fried or Charlie Morton, who could both be available in that situation. If neither pitches in Game 4, I would expect to see them both, and that could be all the Braves need to wrap up the series.

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