Milwaukee Brewers Vs. Atlanta Braves
A month ago it seemed the Brewers were going to steamroll whoever came out of the NL East. Now, not so much. The Brew Crew limped into the playoffs, losing 12 of their last 18 games. To make things worst, they lost their second-best reliever in Devin Williams during the last week of the regular season. Williams got angry and punched a wall, breaking his pitching hand. Now, Josh Hader will be leaned on even more coming out of the bullpen.
Thankfully for Milwaukee, they have the best rotation in baseball led by Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Adrian Houser. Even without Williams, the Brewers bullpen is loaded with three-time All-Star Josh Hader at the forefront. After stumbling in 2020, Hader posted the best season of his career, going 4-2, with a 1.23 ERA, 102 strikeouts, and a 1.69 FIP, while going 34/35 in save opportunities.
The biggest question mark for Milwaukee is their offense. Christian Yelich (.248 BA, 9 HRs) has yet to rediscover his 2018 MVP form and will be the Xfactor for this series. If Yelich can find his swing, Milwaukee will have the threat at the plate they have been missing.
Despite losing Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending injury and the Marcell Ozuna drama, Atlanta won the NL East for the fourth straight season and ended the season winning 12 of their last 14. Atlanta’s bread and butter is their offense, which consists of Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Dansby Swanson, and emerging star Austin Riley. The 24-year-old finally broke out, hitting .303, with 33 homers, 107 RBIs, and an OPS of .898.
Charlie Morton, Max Fried, and Ian Anderson are slated to pitch the first three games for the Braves. Fried carried the offense in Mike Soroka’s absence and emerged as one of the best pitchers in the NL. This year Fried went 14-7, with a 3.03 ERA, 158 strikeouts, and a 3.31 FIP.
Will Smith (3.44 ERA, 37 saves) Drew Smyly (4.48 ERA, 117 strikeouts), Luke Jackson (1.98 ERA, 70 strikeouts), Tyler Matzek (2.57 ERA, 77 Ks), A.J. Minter (3.78 ERA, 57 Ks) Jesse Chavez (2.14 ERA, 36 Ks), will be the main weapons out of the Braves pen.
Prediction: The Brewers rotation proves too much for the Braves. Brewers in 5.