During the last couple of seasons, the Braves’ lineup construction has been a hotly debated topic. Manager Brian Snitker has a very traditional manner of doing things, or at least that is his instinct, and that has led a lot of people to see past lineups as less than optimal. Insert all of your ‘Ender at leadoff’ and ‘Nick Markakis bats 5th every day’ jokes.
However, this season has been different. There hasn’t been any fiddling with Ronald Acuna Jr. batting leadoff for good reason, we have seen Freddie Freeman moved up to the two spot in the lineup for a while now, and we have seen a lot of good decisions being made on a day to day basis regarding playing matchups, etc. rather than just trusting vets blindly to figure it out in unfavorable situations.
Case in point...the usage of Nick Markakis. As soon as Markakis opted back in, many thought that he was just going to be slotted in the 5th spot every single day and this was only reinforced when he came back and started off hot. However, the Braves have not really used him against lefties and he has seen his playing time managed pretty aggressively in recent weeks. Now, against a righty, Markakis returns to the lineup and is batting 7th which is...perfectly fine. The rest of the lineup is what you would expect to see on most nights.
For Miami, they are fighting for prime playoff seeding....god it feels weird to be typing that about the Marlins in 2020...and hanging on to the slim odds of chasing down the Braves for the division title. Their lineups only swaps Garrett Cooper and Jesus Aguilar from the one last night.