3) Atlanta Braves V. 6) Cinncinatti Reds
Atlanta has won the National League East for a third straight year and after two straight first-round exits, they are looking to go far. With Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, and Ozzie Albies leading the offense and an elite bullpen, the Braves are a force. However, the starting rotation is the issue. After losing Mike Soroka for the season to an injury, and designating Mike Foltynewicz for assignment, the Braves rotation has become thin. Max Fried is back from the IL and will take the mound for game one, but behind him, the rotation is full of questions.
The Red’s hopes will rely on their stud pitching trio of Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray. Similar to the Cubs, the Reds rotation will have to carry an offense that hit .212. Trevor Bauer will be the player to watch for the Reds rotation. After arriving in Cincinnati at the trade deadline last season, Bauer was terrible, posting a 6.39 ERA across 10 starts. This season he has turned things around, finishing the season 5-4, with a 1.73 ERA, and 100 strikeouts. Mike Moustakas, Joey Votto, Nicholas Castellanos, and Jesse Winker will be the driving force for the offense. After Joey Votto’s vocal interview when the Reds clinched a playoff spot, he will need to back up his statement.
Prediction: Upset Alert! The Reds starting rotation will keep the Braves offense in check. Reds in 3.