Houston Astros: Know your World Series foe – Atlanta Braves
What do the Braves do well?
The Braves digs the long ball.
The Braves like to hit bombs, and they really like to hit bombs with guys on base. 18.2% of their hits throughout the season where via home runs, which was the second highest in the majors only behind the Rays.
So basic math – If Atlanta were to have 10 hits in a game, you should expect two of them will be landing in the stands. They didn’t have any guys who smacked 40+ plus home runs, but they have Freddie Freeman, Adam Duvall, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies all hit 25 plus home runs throughout the season.
Other guys like Dansby Swanson, Travis D’Arnaud, Joc Pederson and Jorge Soler all have dangerous power who can heat up at anytime. And with the way Eddie Rosario’s was hitting in the NLCS, he might be the most dangerous power hitter in the Braves lineup.
Houston Astros will obviously need to pitch well, but there will be added emphasis on keeping the base paths clear. It’s unlikely this Astros’ staff will keep these Braves from smacking home runs -it’s just what they do well.
But if Houston can make those home runs just solo shots instead of back-breaking three-run bombs, that’ll lighten the damage.
The Braves’ pitching and defense is really really good.
For the first time all postseason the Astros will not have a clear advantage on the defense and pitching side of things.
The Astros and the Braves are the two best defensive teams in all of baseball – both teams finished 1-2 in fielding, defensive runs saved, combined defensive WAR and numerous other defensive metrics.
Atlanta also has a potent starting rotation, with Morton, Fried and Anderson. Not only do these starters have impressive all-star caliber stuff, they also generate a ton of weak contact from hitters (combined 44% of hits).
Astros’ hitters will need to get ahead of the count often to get themselves in better spots to barrel the ball. Atlanta is not going to give up too many mistakes, so Houston will need to tilt the hitting situations in their favor and drive the ball.