Mike Soroka will throw his first professional pitch as a 22 year old tonight, as he leads the Braves against the Minnesota Twins. Young Soroka will have his hands full with a Twins offense that has been known to demoralize pitchers and cause them to reconsider their career choices, but if there is a Braves starter who can allay their long ball tendencies, Soroka is the one.
The Braves have an opportunity to do some damage of their own against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, whose batted ball profile points to a pitcher who struggles to keep the ball on the ground. With the likes of Ronald Acuña, Jr., Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, and other homer-happy Braves lurking, Odorizzi would be wise to re-learn a sinker between now and 8:10pm ET.
It’s easy to say this about any series between two teams who lead their divisions this late in the season, but this is a potential playoff match-up - and considering these two teams come from different leagues, this is a potential World Series match-up. A lot would have to fall right for both teams, but does a Braves-Twins World Series really sound that far-fetched? These are two of the best teams in baseball, and if nothing else, this three game set will serve as a barometer for each team as to how battle-tested they are for the stretch.
You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t impressively intelligent, but just in case you’ve forgotten a few things, I want you to have these: