LOS ANGELES - At first glance, the Atlanta Braves are the clear underdog going into the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are fully loaded and defending National League Champions. They are the team to beat, but they are not unbeatable.
The field crew worked throughout the day Wednesday to put the finishing touches on the field, in particular, the giant NLDS logo and some of the Dodgers were on the field keeping loose, playing ball with their children.
Meanwhile, Braves Manager Brian Snitker is finishing up his Postseason roster and pitchers are a bit part of those decisions.
"Yeah, I mean that's what everything internally you are talking about, which direction to go and the matchup and the potential, that there's a lot of things involved right there that we're still sorting through and having differing opinions on and will continue that in the discussion. the good thing is everybody involved, they'll all be, in a position that no matter how we go, we're not going to be screwing with anybody as far as short rest, things like that, everybody will be in a good position to do whatever we decide to do," Snitker said.
One thing that is known right now is that Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz will start Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.
But what else is keeping Snitker up at night? 680 The Fan's Kevin McAlpin has his thoughts.
"I think the biggest question is right now is if Braves want to use left-hander or not. And we heard Sean Newcomb name mentioned in the conversation as potentially starting one of these next Game 2 or Game 3, we'll see what direction they decide to go. Obviously, the Dodgers have a ton of power from the left side so I think they are trying to look at potentially Newcomb being the guy who could help neutralize some of that left-handed power," said McAlpin.
In terms of the backfield and defense, there are a lot of questions about Braves injured shortstop Dansby Swanson.
"Yeah, highly doubtful that we'll see Dansby Swanson, you know, ready to go by tomorrow with the hand just hasn't progressed to the point where he's been able to hit. He didn't take part in yesterday's workout back in Atlanta, so, I think that's pretty much the telltale sign. He wasn't able to get out there and hit yesterday, we'll see if he's out there tonight. A lot could change in 24 hours, but I think that optimism that they had in Philly on Sunday, I think, that's quickly deteriorating," said McAlpin.
And while it seems like everyone is picking the Dodgers on this one, it might not be too far-fetched to root for the Braves.
"Well, because they answered the questions all year long. I mean, all season long they said 'Hey, if they could just get to the All-Star break.' 'If they could just get to trade deadline.' 'If they could just get through their West Coast trip where they go to Phoenix and San Francisco.' Well, guess what. They've done it all year long. They've been a resilient team, They've shown the ability to win those tight games and I think that's why they got a shot in the series," said McAlpin.
Game 1 of the NLDS pitting the Braves against the Dodgers begins at 9:37 Eastern time.