My Braves 2021 Opening Day Lineup Predictions

With less than a month until the start of baseball, and Spring Training already underway, I decided it was time to start thinking about the Opening Day lineup!

The Braves have so many amazing players! I would think it gives Braves Manager, Brian Snitker, a little bit of ease when it comes to creating the lineup on a day-to-day basis. Along with with what order I think the players will hit in, I’m going to list what position I think they’ll play. Let’s get started!

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. position: Right Field
  2. Ozzie Albies, position: Second Base
  3. Freddie Freeman, position: First Base
  4. Marcell Ozuna, position: Left Field
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, position: Catcher
  6. Austin Riley, position: Third Base
  7. Dansby Swanson, position: Shortstop
  8. Christian Pache, position: Center Field

This is how I believe it will be, but there are a couple of spots that Snitker could swap players. Swanson and Riley could easily be swapped. However, I put Riley before Swanson so there could be a little more power at the bottom of the lineup, so it can have a lot of depth to it. And Albies and Swanson could be changed, but I personally don’t think they will be. Ozzie has proven how capable he is in hitting second. He can easily drive a run in early if Acuña were to reach. Also, I do want to note Christian Pache. He made his debut last year for the Braves and did very well. He also proved his defensive abilities in the 2020 postseason. I don’t think the Braves will start Ender Inciarte this season. I think he will be a bench player. His numbers aren’t what they used to be and he has become injury prone. Yes, he is still good defensively, which is why I think the Braves will give him a spot on the Opening Day roster, just not on the starting lineup.

The Fight For Third Base Continues

With less than three weeks until the season starts, the decision for who will be playing third base will need to be reached soon.

Will it be Camargo or Riley?

Obviously it is a tough decision for the Braves manager Brian Snitker to make with Josh Donaldson gone. Both Camargo and Riley are worthy of the everyday roll at third base, but relistically they both can’t play third base everyday unless one of them is doing so in Triple-A (Gwinnett).

The case for Camargo:

During the Spring Training games Camargo has played in, he has gone 7-for-23 with a home run, a double, and five strikeouts in nine Grapefruit games pruducing a .304 average. These numbers include his plate appearances as the designated hitter. Camargo is much leaner than he was in 2019, and after returning from Triple-A late in the season last year he had noticably improved his swing and had strengthened his patience. But, if he’s not chosen to become the Braves everyday third basemen, Johan Camargo could be put on the bench to add depth.

The case for Riley:

Like Camargo, Austin has gone 7-for-23 in nine games with two home runs, a walk, and as also produced a .304 average. Considering that Ausitn Riley struckout in 50 of his last 109 at-bats during the regular sesaon in 2019, you can tell that Riley has more patience and is laying off the slider. With just five strikouts so far this Spring Training, his patience is paying off.

Who will it be?

Both Austin and Johan are very capable and willing to play third base. But, in the end only one will get the roll. I think that it will all start to play itself out soon. As the 2020 season starts we, as fans, will better understand why Brian Snitker will choose who our 3rd baseman will be.

As for me, I think it will be Johan Camargo. I have nothing against Austin Riley, I just think that Joahn is the better choice given that he has has more experience with the Atlanta Braves as a third basemen.

But I could be wrong. The Braves could go with Austin Riley and he could do wonderful things, produce good numbers both offensively and defensively. The season will tell!

What we need in a new Third Baseman

With Josh Donaldson out of the picture, what’s next for the Atlanta Braves? 

Now that Josh Donaldson is with the Twins, the Braves have two spots to fill: a third baseman and a power batter to protect Freddie Freeman. 

The Braves signed Marcell Ozuna to a one year, 18-million-dollar contract. It looks like he may fill the middle-of-the lineup void, but is he the right man for the job? He produced four seasons with around 29 home runs. Ozuna is a left fielder, so while signing him gives us hope for a power hitter, it doesn’t give us a third basemen.  

What do we need in a third basemen? We need someone who can play every single day, that can play good defense, and can put up good numbers. 

It is most likely that Johan Camargo will begin the season as our third baseman. He played third base for the Braves in 2018 and put up good numbers and defensive stats. As for Austin Riley, he will most likely start the season in triple-A Gwinnett. If Austin can produce the numbers he did when he came up to the big leagues in 2019 and put up good defense, he will probably get a shot at third base, since that is his natural position. 

Unless the Atlanta Braves do a big Trade to get a top of the line Third basemen, I see Camargo and Riley as our only two contenders for third base.