Atlanta Braves Week 3 Preview: Time for Freeman to Shine

Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

With a 7-9 record, the Atlanta Braves head into Week 3 with aspirations of flipping the script on a sluggish start to the 2021 season. 

Heading into Week 2 with a 4-5 record and Braves fans turning to Pablo Sandoval for any glimmer of hope, the Braves lineup flashed some signs of turning it around.

After dropping three straight to the Marlins to open Week 2, the club captured the final game of the series on Thursday with a Dansby Swanson walk-off single and breathed some life into the lineup once again.

Following the series loss at home, the club traveled to Chicago and grabbed a much-needed series win against the Cubs to bring their record to 7-9 heading into Week 3.

The bigger news, however, is what we thought could be a plaguing abdominal injury to Ronald Acuna Jr., who was well on his way to cementing his case as the best player in the NL.

The star right fielder came up slow on a dive back into first base in the fourth inning of Sunday night’s game in Chicago.

Fortunately, the injury was nothing more than a mild abdominal muscle strain, and Acuna avoided the injured list for the time being. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

Upcoming Schedule

The Braves travel to the Bronx on Tuesday to begin a short two-game series against the struggling Yankees (5-10), who have gotten off to their worst start in over two decades.

To open the series, Charlie Morton will face Jameson Taillon, who currently carries a 7.56 ERA through his first two starts of the 2021 campaign, followed by Ian Anderson against Corey Kluber on Wednesday night.

Following an off day Thursday, the Braves are back in Truist Park on Friday to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game weekend series, who hold a 6-10 record and are fourth in the NL West.

What to Watch For

The bats got going for the Braves last week, averaging 7.5 runs per game that was topped off by a 13-4 route of the Cubs on Sunday night.

Following a red-hot Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman continued to get his bat going. The reigning NL MVP hit .308 last week and now has five home runs on the year.

After a sluggish start to Marcell Ozuna’s season, he contributed a .345 average and eight RBIs on the week, silencing any doubters and further cementing his case for the cleanup spot in the Braves lineup.

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With the absence of Acuna most likely through Thursday’s off day, look for these two sluggers to keep the momentum going into the upcoming week.