We take a look at some of the biggest fears for the Atlanta Braves as they begin their NLDS series against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday in Houston.
I hate to be the one that plays Devil’s advocate, but I thought it important to look at the things that worry me the most for the Atlanta Braves against the Miami Marlins.
Right off the bat, maybe the one thing that scares me the most is the fact that the Braves are pretty heavy favorites coming into this matchup.
Atlanta has kind of played the underdog role for a while now — even in the Wild Card round when everyone was in love with the Cincinnati Reds.
But now it’s the Marlins who get the play that role and they’ve loved that position as well with their ‘Bottom Feeders’ t-shirts.
Sometimes the Braves fall victim to playing down to their competition and raising their level of play against the best teams/players in the league.
Hopefully they don’t let that get to them and remained focussed. This is the postseason, so I certainly expect that to happen.
Braves Biggest Fears — Marlins success against Ian Anderson
This will be the third time in nearly a month that the Marlins will be seeing Ian Anderson and that certainly favors the Marlins hitters.
Anderson’s first start against the Fish was the worst of his season as he only lasted 3 innings. He only gave up 2 runs (1 earned) but the Marlins hitters made him work as he threw 83 pitches in those 3 innings.
Later in September Anderson was much more efficient throwing 104 pitches over 5.2 innings as he didn’t walk a batter. He did allow 3 runs (all unearned) on 7 hits.
The Marlins hitters can be pesky and I fear that could lead to a short outing for Anderson.
Braves Biggest Fears — Marlins fundamentals
This isn’t something that can really be measured by any stat, but anyone who has watched the Marlins play this year knows they do all the little things.
They’re going to steal bases, work counts, foul off tough pitches, move runners over, and take the extra base. That’s how they’ve gotten to where they are now and been able to exceed despite the talent difference between them and other teams.
I’m worried this type of offense can really frustrate the young starters of the Braves and create some problems.
Braves Biggest Fears — Marlins Pitchers Hitting Acuña
This one may seem kind of silly and hopefully irrelevant, but I certainly fear that Marlins pitchers are going to continue to pound Acuna inside — as many teams do — and that one of those pitches will hit that wrist.
Acuna has let it be known that he’s playing through the pain with that wrist, which means the Marlins know that as well and will certainly pitch him inside.
I also fear that Acuna let’s that get into his head as we know he doesn’t like the Marlins and they don’t like him.
Whether it’s on purpose or not, one of my biggest fears is a Marlins pitcher letting a ball get loose and it hitting Acuna on that wrist.
Those are my biggest three or four fears for the Braves going into this series. Maybe I’ll look on the positive side Tuesday and give you my biggest reasons to be optimistic.
What are your biggest fears for the Braves against the Marlins? Let us know in the comments below.