1. Our starters will have to be at the top of their game. To be frank, I don't think I've had more confidence in any of the Postseason pitching staffs we've had during my time as a Braves fan (2010) than this one. Our top three all have experience pitching at a high level in postseason baseball. Having Ynoa as a fourth option is also super ideal, as we've seen what he's capable of when on his A game.
2. Execute with RISP. One of the main reasons for the past 2 playoff exits for the Braves has been the failure to execute with RISP in key situations. Flash back to game 4 against St. Louis two years ago. Braves up a run in the 6th and 7th innings with a chance to put the game away and advance to the NLCS. They load the bases in back to back innings, end up not scoring a run; and of course the Cardinals end up tying a game on a broken bat bloop single and win in extras. Then in Game 6 of the NLCS against LA, the Dodgers put up 3 in the first and the Braves respond by loading the bases with no outs. What did they do with the opportunity? Three straight outs. The very next day, 0 outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd with a chance to extend a one run lead. The Braves had arguably the biggest base running error since Lonnie Smith and its ends up costing them the game. Can't do that against these Brewers. Against that pitching, the Braves will have to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they get. As Chip says, "Play baseball. Not home run derby."
3. Snitker has to manage the Postseason the way he did last year. The only mistake I recall him making was keeping Ynoa in that Game 3 against LA when the game was all but over.
4. Matckson Smith have to be on their A game. First we had O'ventBrel, now we've got Matckson Smith. These three have to pitch well. Especially when you consider how good Milwaulkee's back end is been without Devin Williams. Jackson and Matzek have to keep doing what they've been doing and it wold be nice if Will Smith wouldn't put all of Braves Country into cardiac arrest when he closes a one-run game.
5. We need offensive contributions all throughout the order. From Jorge to Dansby, it's going to take a collective effort. Can't have just 2-3 guys consistently hitting and expect to win this series.
6. Win at least one game in Milwaukee. Falling behind 2-0 is tough to come back from in any series, particularly when you're the away team. Have to come back to Marietta at least 1-1.
7. Braves country: Monday and Tuesday night, pack Truist and show out like we do every time we're in the Postseason. I've been to Postseason games for every Atlanta team and out of the three, there's nothing like a Braves crowd in October.
My prediction for this series: it's going to be a tough series. Milwaukee is a very good team and they won 95 games for a reason. It's our hitting vs. their pitching. As I've said before, this series is going the distance. Who wins? I honestly have no idea. It could go either way. Anyways, let the madness begin. Chop on!!