Houston Astros: Know your World Series foe – Atlanta Braves

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Braves
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

How do the Braves matchup by the numbers?

The Braves were the eighth best offensive team in baseball with a .754 OPS, they were 12th in batting average (.244) and fifth in slugging (.435).

Atlanta likes to beat you with the long ball – the Braves finished third in the majors in home runs with (239) — however they were also one of the more aggressive teams in baseball, striking out the 10th most in the majors.

Atlanta and Houston were the two best offenses with two outs and runners in scoring position. Most notably, the Braves generated a .847 OPS when there is two-out and two-on, for an OPS+ of 136. Atlanta more times than not came up big at the plate when opportunity was there – something Houston also did well over the season.

Also, just like the Astros, the Braves hit the ball better against better competition. The Braves hit .240 with a .727 OPS against above .500 teams (League average .232, .695 OPS).

This includes hitting .295 in a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, hitting .270 in 10 games against the Brewers, and hitting.230 against the Dodgers (League average vs. Dodgers: .209).

This offense may not have the same firepower as the Astros or Red Sox or Blue Jays, but they are deep and seem to always rise to the occasion against winning teams.

The Braves pitching staff finished 6th in the majors in ERA (3.88), 10th in WHIP (1.24), and 9th in Opponent Batting Average (.235). Their starting pitching was really good this year – the combination of Morton, Fried, Anderson and Drew Smyly generated at .229 opponent batting average and a .689 OPS (OPS+ 88).

Their bullpen was not quite up to par to their starting rotation, but still managed to finish 13th ERA or 14th in WHIP (sOPS 102).

Interesting tidbit: 

Atlanta pitchers struggled against AL teams. Atlanta went 6-14 in those 20 games against AL foes, and their pitchers generated a 6.00 ERA with a whip of 1.53 in those games.

Those numbers might be purely coincidental, but since Houston was the best offense in the American League that is worth keeping note.