NLWC 2020 G1 Preview: Reds at Braves

Buckle up kids! It’s Playoff time.

The Cincinnati Reds come a callin’ in the Wild Card round. Because of the COVID shortened season the Braves have not faced off against the Reds this year. Matter of fact last time was 2019, remember that?

In a three game series it’s anyone’s game.

Where the Braves lack in pitching, because face it we have no clue how the young staff is going to react to playoff baseball, they make up for it in offense. Even with that uncertainty we can look to one of the strongest bullpens in the National League. No gimmes in that crew.

So let’s start with the visiting team.

CINCINNATI reds

Manager David Bell has used 54 different lineups this season, which is an exhausting amount. Here is the one that has been used more than the rest, so take this projected lineup with a grain of salt.

1) Aristides Aquino, LF
2) Nick Castellanos, RF
3) Joey Votto, 1B (L)
4) Eugenio Suárez, 3B
5) Mike Moustakas, 2B (L)
6) Nick Senzel, CF
7) Jesse Winker, DH (L)
8) Freddy Galvis, SS (S)
9) Curt Casali, C

With the southpaw Max Fried going for the Braves look for Bell to field a right-handed heavy lineup. And if for some reason Fried can’t go deep, David Bell has some good lefty bats as well.

Braves end affiliation with the Danville Braves

With the announcement of the restructuring of the Appalachian League, the Braves have officially ended their 27 year-long affiliation with the city of Danville. This partnership will come to an end on September 30th, 2020.

We thank the city of Danville for their support over nearly three decades of Braves baseball and wish continued success to the city,” said Chip Moore, Braves Executive Vice President, Minor League Affiliates and Strategic Planning. “I would personally like to thank our Danville staff and especially Brandon Bennett and Stephen Brunson for their hard work during this transition.

Chip Moore, EVP of Minor League affiliates and Strategic Planning.

Danville as seen a lot of prospects make it to the show, Andruw Jones, Adam Wainwright, Jeff Francoeur, Rafael Furcal, Marcus Giles, Jason Heyward, Tommy Hanson, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Andrelton Simmons, Brandon Drury, Johan Camargo, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Soroka, Austin Riley, Ian Anderson, Huascar Ynoa and William Contreras.

Even Brian Snitker busted his Managerial chops in Danville. If you’re interested they’re selling Danville merch at a discounted price. So get your little slice of Braves history why you can!

MVFree is the National League’s Player of the Month for September

That should not come as a surprise.

Freddie had one hell of a September and is deserving of the title. I’m firmly in Freddie’s corner when it comes to the MVP Race. I think the choice is obvious, but hey I’m just a writer that has no such influence, but if I did he’s got my vote.

He went from hitting .259/.412/.444 in the Month of July, where he only played eight games because of COVID.

August is where he really got warm and looking like the Freddie we all know. He hit .330/.440/.582 with 4 dinger’s and 17 RBI’s. That’s nothing to shake a stick at, and was a harbinger of things to come, including making his case for the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

Here’s his slash line from the month of September: .375/.496/.750, add to that eight home runs and 32 RBI’s to wrap up the season. He also notched 12 doubles in the month of September. Dude has been ridiculous, seriously. And’s quite possible the Braves have the one and two spot in the MVP Awards. Marcell Ozuna really needs to be looked at.

Though, the clear choice is MVFREE.

Marcell Ozuna Nabs NL Player Of the Week

Congrats to Marcell Ozuna who, for the second time this month nabbed the National League Play of the Week award! He hit .500 and had a slugging percentage of .923 over the last week of the season. He was in fine form over the weekend as well, belting his National League leading 18th homerun and 56th RBI.

Taking a one year flier on yourself seems to have worked in Ozuna’s favor. He’s going to get paid one way or the other come 2021. Would I like to see him back in a Braves uniform (and that’s for another post)? Hell yeah, the guy can stone cold hit and seems to be a good clubhouse guy as well.

I’ll leave you with this gem, his league leading 18th homerun.

Welcome

Greetings and welcome!

My name is Timm Higgins and this here is The Back Door Slider, a Braves blog from a die hard perspective. I’ve written about the Braves in the past, about a decade ago on my old site Rain Delay. I got tired of the grind and decided to stop writing about baseball and focus on soccer.

While that’s been fun for the past few years, after watching the weird COVID season – I got bitten by the bug. So why not jump in with two feet and get things started. I’ve got great plans for this corner of the Braves-blogoverse. Fair warning I am a stats guy, and a SABR member. Just renewed after letting it lapse.

I think I pick the perfect time to get back into to it. We’re headed to the postseason for the third year in a row, and it all kicks off with facing the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. Keep in mind because of the wacky season, the Braves haven’t seen the Reds and visa versa.

For The A!