With Game 1 of the NLCS upon us, the Braves and Dodgers have both officially submitted how their offenses will look. As arguably two of the three best offenses in the Major Leagues this season, the main theme from each order is simply sticking with what has worked.
For the Braves, the big key in this series may be what the bottom of the lineup does. The top six of the Braves order can stack up against the top six of the Dodgers order at any time. However, this postseason, Adam Duvall, Nick Markakis, and Austin Riley have combined to go 10-58 with four walks, three extra base hits, and three RBIs. That puts a lot of pressure on the first six hitters of the Braves lineup. If Atlanta is going to pull the upset and advance to the World Series, it likely will need at least one of its 7-9 hitters to step up and have a big series.
Betts, RF— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 12, 2020
Continuing with the bottom of the order, that may be the key to Max Fried’s success tonight. Navigating through the first six Dodgers will be tough enough, but A.J. Pollock arguably is the best Dodgers hitter against southpaws, while Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor both have a career OPS above .780 vs. left-handers. While the Dodgers were not the best in the league against lefties, the quality of their depth made them among the best. If the Braves are going to have a chance tonight, Fried certainly needs to limit the bottom of the order from creating chances for the Dodgers.