Welcome to the first of many BGS Series Previews! The 2015 season is finally underway, and the Braves are starting things off in Miami for a series against the Marlins. We’ve already covered our expectations for the Braves in 2015 during our first podcast, so I won’t go back over any of that now. The Marlins have the distinct honor of being roughly an 80 win team while still being the second best team in their division. They have what may be the best outfield in baseball with Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna, but also lack anyone else of note in the rest of the lineup. Besides the injured Jose Fernandez and potential bounce-back candidate Mat Latos, their rotation is made up of a bunch of average to replacement level guys who they hope can just eat innings all year. Basically what I’m saying is we’re starting what may be an uneventful season against a rather boring team.
Nevertheless, it is real-life baseball games, so there’s that to get excited about. Also, Giancarlo Stanton is probably one of the top 5 most exciting players in baseball, so watching him will be fun. Best case scenario for this series is one of the Braves’ bash-brothers (what I’m tentatively calling Chris Johnson, Jonny Gomes, and AJ Pierzynski) wastes no time getting heated and starts a big kerfuffle.
Above you can find a table with the pitching match-ups for this series, along with the Braves Win Probability, Braves Probable Runs Scored, and Braves Probable Runs Allowed. These values come from Matt Hunter‘s online Baseball-Sim program using what I considered to be the most likely lineups for each game. Note that the Braves are not a favorite to win any of these three games, despite the fact that we’re facing three average-at-best starters from freaking Miami. Yes, it is going to be a long season, folks.
Below you can find some notes on each of the starters for Miami, along with some self-generated heat maps of where they threw to the current Braves roster in 2014 and to all batters in 2014. If these are things y’all would like to continue to see in our previews, please let us know in the comments or on twitter.
I know I’m being a downer above, but I’m actually extremely excited for today. We know the Braves won’t be any good this year, but by knowing that going in we can free ourselves from any expectations and simply enjoy the game for what it is: grown men we’ve never met, wearing costumes, and hitting balls with sticks. Here’s to 2015!
Game 1: 4/6
Game 2: 4/7
Game 3: 4/8