Atlanta Braves World Series: Keys To Success
There is hope for the Atlanta Braves
Even though the Astros are heavily favored in this matchup, there are reasons to be hopeful.
If we look at how these teams did against good teams down the stretch, Atlanta held their own. In the second half of the season against teams ending the year with a winning record, the Braves were 15-15. The Astros did not do any better, being 14-15.
If we look at home-field advantage, it can be encouraging too. Other than the statistical advantage of having the last at bat, the atmosphere factor seems to be a wash. The Astros had a better record at home with 51-30, but the Braves had a better record away with 46-35.
Keys to success for the Atlanta Braves
As most Braves fans know, outside of Luke Jackson, the Braves’ bullpen has been extremely successful in the post-season. The Astros’ bullpen has not been as successful, giving up 17 runs so far this post-season.
Some of this is most likely due to the Astros only truly using 2 starters, while deploying bullpen arms at a high rate. Some of this was by choice, but some of this was due to Luis Garcia giving up 10 runs in a span of 3.2 innings split between 2 starts.
In fact, this post-season, of the pitchers likely on the Astros World Series roster, there have been a total of 2 starts that have gone 5 innings or longer. These starts were one a piece for Valdez and Garcia.
Another area for hope is that as we saw recently against Julio Urias in the NLCS, the Atlanta Braves crush lefty pitching. Guess which hand the Astros’ best 2021 post-season starter uses? Left.
The keys for the Atlanta Braves to win this World Series go beyond the obvious of slowing down the Astros’ offense and their own version of Eddie Rosario in Yordan Alvarez (.522 average in the ALCS):
- The Braves need to run up the pitch count against these Astros starters. The bullpen has to be getting tired as much as they have pitched.
- Take advantage of platoon splits. The Astros best pitcher is a lefty. The Braves need to lean into what they are good at, feasting on lefty pitching
- Structure the lineups based opposing pitching. Platoon splits are real, use them to your advantage. Ozzie Albies has struggled against righties all year, therefore, he should not be hitting 3rd, for example.
The Astros’ offense is elite, but they will be facing the best pitching they have seen yet in the post-season in the Braves. The Braves have faced much better pitching this postseason than the Astros deploy.
Expect this series to be a lot closer than much of the media will lead you to believe. This is going to be a fun World Series!