2020 Postseason Preview Braves V Reds
One team hit .268. The other hit .212. Is there really an argument?
The Cincinnati Reds are dead last in batting average in Major League Baseball … and they’re in the playoffs. While you’re ruminating on that and wondering why Cincinnati is so hard to spell, ask yourself how in the hell the Reds made the postseason.
Four reasons: an expanded playoff format … and a pitching staff that gave up exactly the same number of runs as the offense was able to generate (243) and a pitching staff that was second in the big leagues in strikeouts and a defense that had the fifth-best fielding percentage.
Pitching and defense. Shocking.
Sure the tongue is a little in cheek there, but it’s also worth noting that in a year without a designated hitter in the National League, the Reds’ team batting average fell 32 points. Also, it’s interesting that neither the Reds nor the Tampa Rays, Milwaukee Brewers or New York Yankees gave up a single out. That is, there were no sacrifices for any of those teams.
So, this looks to be a case of pitching versus hitting, and to large degree that’s true. The Braves hit 56 points higher, but gave up two-thirds of a run per game more. Soo, that takes us to the matchup in a three-game series. Sooo, that means if Trevor Bauer and the Reds lose game one against Max Fried, then Atlanta comes back with 22-year-old Ian Anderson, who has given up three earned runs combined in his last three starts. Sooooo that means the series is over in two.
Buuuuuuuttttttt, if Bauer and the Reds can scratch out a run against Atlanta, then Cincinnati has four starters with an ERA under 3.80 to choose from and the Braves have … none.
Is it possible the Reds win a series with this formula? The postseason is a different animal and the Braves haven’t won a postseason series in 20 years. So, it’s not like they have this dialed. But the bullpen is better. A.J. Minter, Darren O’Day and Chris Martin have ERAs under 1.10.
Braves in two.