Braves/Giants NLDS Preview


Scan the net and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more “questioned” series when it comes to the final result. Many think the Braves pitching will be too tough for the G-men. Others think the slumping Braves offense will be destroyed by the Giants fantastic (and historic) pitching. Braves in 5…Giants in 5…Braves in 3…Giants in 3…nobody can seem to get much of a feel. Why you ask? Well, it’s pretty much that both clubs share a lot of common characteristics, from their extraordinary bullpens, questionable offensives, and potential rookie of the years.

So let’s get to those fantastic bullpens. The Giants pen, for the past month and a half or so has been nearly unhittable. No, I take that back. They have been unhittable. Pure filth. The Braves pen has been nearly as impressive, however, as a team they struggled in the final month then pen found it more difficult to get into big games.

Clutch wise, it’s hard to find a better team in the majors outside of Atlanta. Working on their Bobby Cox mojo, the Braves led the league with 45 come from behind victories, 25 of them in their final at bat. Just when you think you have the Braves on the ropes, they get right back up and leave you with a glaring shiner – something the Giants can easily recall from earlier in the season.

As for momentum, say what you will – it’s important. And while the Braves haven’t had the success in September that the Giants have, they do have the extra motivation of winning one for Bobby. But on the other hand, the Giants have won 19 of 30 and looked to be the more “hot” of the two clubs going into the post season, despite their near collapse in the final series of the season.

The biggest issue however for me in this series is the health, or lack of, for the Braves. Missing key pieces like Martin Prado and Chipper Jones isn’t easy to overcome, especially when you’re facing a staff as elite as the Giants are. That’s not to say they can’t, but it’s certainly an extra hurdle placed in their way and an added luxury to the Giants.

The Braves most likely wont have a chance to tee off versus Barry Zito, one of the best moves Bochy and company has made all season….and a sight I’m sure many Brave fans were disappointed to see. Instead, depending on the situation, Game 4 would be started by either Tim Lincecum (on three day’s rest) or Madison Bumgarner who has been absolute money on the road this year, and he’d need to be with the Braves impressive home record.

To me, this series is a total coin flip. I could see either team sweeping – I could see it going five just as easily. So, the call is up to you Giant fans….

Game Times:

Game 1 @ SF Thursday, October 7 6:37 p.m. PDT
Game 2 @ SF Friday, October 8 6:37 p.m. PDT
Game 3 @ ATL Sunday, October 10 1:37 p.m. PDT
Game 4 @ ATL Monday, October 11 5:37 p.m. PDT
Game 5 @ SF Wednesday, October 13 6:37 p.m. PDT