Image licensed from USA Today Sport
Atlanta: Charlie Morton (RHP) 14-6, 3.34 ERA
Milwaukee: Corbin Burnes (RHP) 11-5, 2.43 ERA
The Atlanta Braves figured out how to bounce-back this season after a terrible start to win the NL East with an 88-73 record. They will be sending veteran right-hander Charlie Morton to the mound and he is 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 13 postseason games (12 starts) in his career.
The Milwaukee Brewers are backing up into the playoffs after losing their last four regular season games to bring their record to 95-67 this season. They will have right-hander Corbin Burnes on the mound who is making his first career postseason start as he is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in six games out of the bullpen.
Brave in the Postseason
The Atlanta Braves have been a solid offensive team this season as they are tied for eighth in MLB with a .754 OPS so far this year. They have been scoring at a solid rate as they scored 4.88 runs per game during the regular season. Looking at the numbers since the All-Star break, Atlanta is scoring 5.14 runs per game with a team slashline of .250/.317/.447 in their 72 games. Third baseman Austin Riley hit very well during the regular season as he finished with an .898 OPS with 33 home runs and 107 RBI. If the Braves can tack on a couple of early runs, it will do wonders for them to steal Game 1 on the road.
Charlie Morton has been pitching incredibly well this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the 90th percentile in barrel percentage, 90th percentile in hard hit percentage, 86th percentile in xSLG, and 81st percentile in xERA. His 4.9 barrel percentage is the lowest since 2017 for him. Morton has a five-pitch arsenal (curveball, fastball, sinker, cutter, changeup) and his sinker has been hit the most as it has a .330 batting average and a .437 slugging percentage. He faced the Brewers once this season and lost as he threw six innings and allowed two runs on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
Brewers Need to Hit
The Milwaukee Brewers have been a decent offensive team this season as their .713 OPS is 20th in the majors. Despite that, they are scoring runs as they are averaging 4.56 runs per game during the regular season. The Brew Crew have been terrible at the plate during the last 30 days (22 games) as they have a .680 OPS with 4.23 runs per game in that span. Right fielder Avisail Garcia has been hitting well as he posted an .820 OPS with 29 homers and 86 RBI while stealing eight bases on 12 attempts. If they can figure out how to hit consistently, it can make them a real threat in the playoffs.
Corbin Burnes has been pitching phenomenally this season according to his Baseball Savant page as he is in the 99th percentile in xERA, 99th percentile in xSLG, 98th percentile in chase rate, and 97th percentile in strikeout percentage. His 3.1 barrel percentage is more than half of his next-lowest season of his career. Burnes throws six different pitches (cutter, curveball, changeup, slider, sinker, fastball) and his curveball has been dominant as it has a .069 batting average and a .119 slugging percentage. He faced the Braves once this season and did not factor into the decision as he went four innings and allowed five runs on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Milwaukee: 5-0 in their last 5 NLDS home games
Milwaukee: 8-3 in their last 11 games following an off day
- Atlanta: 1-4 in their last 5 playoff games
- Atlanta: 3-8 in their last 11 NLDS road games