On the last regular season home game of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched the 2021 National League Central Division Title. In doing so, they additionally locked up the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and knew that they will face the winner of the National League East Division.
It is now official that the winner of that division is the Atlanta Braves. This makes it four consecutive NL East titles for them.
The NLDS does not begin until Friday October 8th, so lets take a look at how the Braves season played out as well as how they matched up against the Brewers this year to get ready for the MLB Playoffs.
The Atlanta Braves Journey To Winning The NL East
Throughout the season the Braves have had to overcome a lot of adversity, including injuries to Mike Soroka and Ronald Acuna Jr. They additionally lost slugger Marcell Ozuna to a suspension. However, president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos made several moves to boost the offense and acquired Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, and Eddie Rosario in July.
On the year, Braves hitters Austin Riley, Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies have all been incredible. All three players have hit over 30 home runs and as a ball club they have hit the third most in total across the league. Both Riley and Albies have collected over 100 RBIs and Freeman and Swanson have over 80. Between both the Marlins and the Braves, Duvall has over 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s as well.
In the second half alone, Austin Riley has emerged as a surprise MVP candidate. He has19 home runs and 63 RBI’s in that time frame. On the pitching side, post all-star break, Max Fried has a 1.74 ERA in 93 innings pitched and Charlie Morton has a sub 3.00 ERA. On the year, closer Will Smith has collected 37 total saves.
From a head to head matchup standpoint, the Brewers are 3-3 against the Braves this season with their last game against one another coming on August 1st. This game was right after the trade deadline, so the Brewers essentially have not faced the new look Braves this year.
However, the Brewers are quite familiar with most of their acquisitions. Duvall was a former Red prior to being acquired by the Braves in 2018. He did sign with the Marlins to begin 2021 but was traded back to the Braves at this years trade deadline. Pederson was a long time Dodger and briefly a Cub in 2021. Rosario was a long time Twin before signing with the Indians prior to this season starting, but was acquired by the Braves via trade.
Despite both teams making the postseason each of the past four years, this will be the first time these two teams have matched up in October. The last time the Braves played a postseason game in Milwaukee, they were still the Milwaukee Braves, back in 1958. That will change on October 8th.
This should make for a very fun and interesting NLDS matchup. Be sure to stay tuned to Reviewing the Brew for all the latest coverage!