MLB Opening Day Countdown Series- Atlanta Braves

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Atlanta Braves

2017 Record: (72-90) 3rd in NL East

Off Season Transactions:

Traded for Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy from Los Angeles Dodgers

Projected Starting Rotation:

Julio Teheran- Definitely going to be a guy you can stack against. He gives up a lot of damage and a lot of damage especially at home and is way better on the road. So ideally, we will target against him when he is pitching in ATL. He is viable to start against with right handed hitters and left-handed hitters but the lefties are in the best spot vs him. Not a huge strikeout guy either and allows hitters the elevate the ball. I don’t think we will want to pitch him at all.

Brandon McCarthy- Pretty good pitcher that doesn’t give up much damage at all so I am not going to take any bats vs him. He also isn’t a huge strikeout guy so there isn’t much upside unless he is very cheap and in a good matchup.

Scott Kazmir- He has good strikeout numbers vs right handed hitters but also gives up the most damage to right handed hitters. The same situation is for the left-handed side of the plate. He doesn’t really have any strike out upside vs left handed hitters but he also limits damage vs them. He limits hard contact and keeps the ball on the ground for the most part. I would maybe consider a bat vs him but wouldn’t get to crazy. I think there will be better options on slates.

Mike Folty- He is the opposite of Teheran, he pitches better at home and gets lit up on the road. Left handed hitters are his weakness so the ideal bats to take would be left handed hitters vs him when he is on the road. He gives up decent contact to lefties but nothing outstanding but the ball gets up in the air. I know sometimes people mention him as a GPP option when he is pitching at home vs a weak team but not much upside for me with a 20% k percentage.

Sean Newcomb- A really highly rated prospect last year that got a chance at the bigs and pitched pretty decent. He has good strikeout stuff and I am expecting him to improve this year. Righties are where he struggles but isn’t even that bad against them. I think Newcomb is a guy we will want to consider early in the season before he gets a price increase. He does a good job at limiting hard contact and has good strikeout numbers. I’ll be looking to take shots on him when the matchup is right.

Bullpen:

They should have a pretty good bullpen this year if they can all stay healthy.

Starting Lineup:

Ender Inciarte (OF)- Hits for average against both hands of pitchers and has the ability to steal bases. He can have big games when the offense for the Braves is clicking as he hits at the top of the order and is run scoring dependent for most of his production with a lack of power or extra base hit ability.

Ozzie Albies (2B)- young kid who popped onto the scence for the Braves last year with some pretty big games at the end of the season. I like him a lot. He has the ability to get on base and steal bases. Has more power upside vs right handed pitchers but I think the power will increase with age. He hits the ball hard vs righties and get the ball in the air vs left handed pitching. I think we get him cheaper than he should be at least early in the season at a weak 2nd base position so he should be a good option.

Freddie Freeman (1B)- I am not really going to say much about him because he is who he is. He is an elite hitter and is in play on a daily basis.

Tyler Flowers (C)- he has the ability to hit for power and is in a position in the batting order that not many catchers claim which makes him more valuable. Limited sample size vs left handed pitchers last year with Suzuki taking that role. I think that will even out. A guy who can flash power and should get many RBI chances at this spot. I like him as an option.

Nick Markakis (OF)- He is only a guy I really use in ATL stacks because he won’t reach upside unless everyone else around him is doing well. Obviously, he can poke a homerun or two out on any given day but mostly his game is getting on base and letting others do the work. He doesn’t put the ball in the air much and doesn’t hit the ball hard all that much either which is the reason I don’t target him.

Ronald Acuna (OF)- going to be taking over for Matt Kemp in the outfield for ATL. A really young kid who has spent the last couple years in the minors so this will be his first taste of the bigs. I’ve been reading he is expected to make debut in April but you never know with a team like the Braves why not play him right away. Anyways, he is ranked #2 in the MLB top 100 prospects and should be a start. He hits for average, power, drives in runs, and has the ability to steal bases. You are for sure going to want to be aware of when he gets the nod into the starting lineup for the Braves because he should be very cheap early on.

Johan Camargo (3B)- is a guy who hit for average last year but really didn’t do anything else. I wouldn’t have him on my radar.

Dansby Swanson (SS)- He was the player of the year in college and the #1 overall pick over Alex Bregman who now has a ring. I am really waiting for him to put a year together as I am optimistic he will bounce back. I watched him play and he is too good of a player to be this bad. Look for him to have a bounce back year.

Playing Field:

Turner Field

Ball Park Factor- 19th

This park was designed for the future and to benefit left handed hitters like Freddy Freeman so a short porch to left but overall a neutral park.

“Must Knows” of the Atlanta Braves going into 2018 MLB DFS:

I think there is a lot of young talent here for the Braves with the likes of Albies, Acuna, and Swanson that will be able to produce value for us at least early on in the season before the prices catch up to their production.