Atlanta Braves: Previewing the Braves' schedule in April
By Chase Owens
We are just a couple short weeks away from Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training. Fans will then proceed to focus on position battles and hope that the Braves can exit the spring injury free. Before we know it the last Grapefruit League game will have concluded and the Braves will be rolling out their opening day lineup. In this post we wanted to take the opportunity to give a breakdown of what fans can expect from the Braves opponents they will face off against in the first month of the season.
Before we jump into the matchups we will see throughout April, let’s talk about the 2023 schedule as a whole. For those out of the baseball loop recently, you will come to find out that MLB has moved to a more balanced schedule. No longer will the Braves have an absurdly high number of regular season matchups with each of their divisional opponents; Instead they will see all other 29 MLB teams at least once over the course of the 162 game grind. That is evidenced immediately as the Braves see two American Leauge opponents they don’t often see in the month of April.
The month of April gives the Braves some matchups against World Series hopefuls as well as teams that will have guys in their starting lineup even the most hardcore of baseball fans don’t know. Regardless of who the Braves play, It’s imperative they get off to a better start in the win-loss column than they did in April 2021 as the division race looks to be a close one.
@ Washington Nationals (March 30 - April 2)
For what feels like the ninth time in a row, the Atlanta Braves will once again open the regular season on the road, And yes, I say that knowing technically they did open at home against the Reds last year, but that was only due to the season being delayed while the MLBPA and owners worked out a new deal. Regardless, the 2023 season will start on March 30th in Nationals Park followed by an off day in case of any phantom rain delays in D.C. After the Bravos play their one and only game in March they will turn the calendar to April and conclude their series with Washington. As I mentioned earlier, I think it’s vital the Brave start off better in 2023, and you really can’t ask for a better matchup to begin with, as the Nationals figure to be one of the worse teams in baseball this year.
@ St. Louis Cardinals (April 3 - April 5)
The Braves then fly out to St. Louis to face the favorites to win the NL Central. The Cardinals will be voiced by former Braves play by play announcer, Chip Caray, in the broadcast booth. But other than that there isn’t really any pressing storylines between these two ball clubs. That is unless you still consider the Cardinals semi-rivials for using their voodoo magic to get past the Braves in the 2019 NLDS. But I digress, this is just an early season matchup between two good baseball teams. We shall see if the Braves can hold down reigning NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt down and walk away victorious.
vs. San Diego Padres (April 6 - April 9)
The 2023 home opener for the Braves will come on April 6th against a fierce opponent in the San Diego Padres for a four-game set. The Padres once again spent some money this offseason and once fully healthy, a lineup of Tatis, Machado, Bogaerts, and Soto seem to be very lethal. However, on the day these two teams meet, San Diego will still be without star player Fernando Tatis Jr. as he is not only coming back from injury, but will be serving the rest of his PED suspension that is set to conclude on April 20th. The Braves will also make their season debut on Sunday Night Baseball when they conclude this series on April 9th.
vs. Cincinnati Reds (April 10 - April 12)
The first homestand will conclude against the Reds, as they will make their visit to Truist Park in April in back to back seasons. The Reds fall under that caterogy of teams that will be rolling out guys you may not have heard of. With the poor ownership situation in Cincinnati, and how good the Bengals have become, I’m not sure how pumped the city is for baseball season. Regardless baseball is a funny game and anyone can win once the first pitch is thrown, so it’s still key the Braves don’t play down to their level of competition and take care of business in front of the home fans.
@ Kansas City Royals (April 14 - April 16)
Next, Atlanta will hit the road again for their first visit to Kauffman stadium since 2019. The Royals don’t figure to be competing for a postseason spot this season, but they do seem to be on the right track as they have a couple of promising looking young guys on the roster. That is headlined by Bobby Witt Jr. as the second overall pick of the 2019 draft is coming of a season in which he showed some flashes of excellence. According to Steamer, Witt Jr. is projected to lead the Royals in fWAR (3.9) for the upcoming season.
@ San Diego Padres (April 17 - April 19)
After the 2023 seasons first three weeks, the Braves will have played all of their regular season games with the Padres. It’s rare you see a season series concluded this early in the year, but it’s just one of the kinks a baseball schedule can provide. However, this could be a beneficially scenario for Atlanta as they will have played all seven games against the Padres without arguably their best player, Fernando Tatis Jr.
vs. Houston Astros (April 21 - April 23)
One of the most mouth-watering baseball matchups the 2023 season has to offer will kick off on April 21st, as the last two world champions of baseball face off. The Braves will welcome in the defending champion Houston Astros in a rematch of the 2021 World Series. Hopefully things play out in a similar fashion for the Braves in this matchup, as we know the Astros seem to be one of the powerhouses of the American League once again.
vs. Miami Marlins (April 24 - April 27)
The Braves will get their first look at the Skip Schumaker led Marlins in 2023 when we inch toward the end of April. It’ll be a four-game set against the division rivals and if the baseball gods love us, that means the Braves will not have to face reigning Cy Young award winner, Sandy Alacantara. The Braves will also have the first of their bobblehead nights on April 25th, for those of you like me that’s into that sort of thing, when the first 15,000 fans at Truist get their hands on the Matt Olson “hometown” bobblehead.
@ New York Mets (April 28 - May 1)
The seasons first month of action wraps up when the Braves make their first visit to Queens for 2023 to face off against their heated rivial, the New York Mets. With how intense the division race was between these two ball clubs you can expect an intense setting at citi field when these teams get together. Braves fans want nothing more than to see their favorite team finish the opening month strong, and remind the Mets that we have won the NL East for five years running and have no expectations of slowing down.