Phillies Opposition Roadblock: Atlanta Braves Series Opener
The Position Player: Freddie Freeman
It ‘s hard to think about the Atlanta Braves and not instantly have the name Freddie Freeman pop into my head. Freeman has been with Atlanta his entire career. It is hard to believe that he has been in the league for seven years. The 27 year old slugger has been one of the most consistent players over that course of time.
This year, he is off to a torrid start. The lefty is slashing an impressive .407/.500/.852 coming into this weekend’s series. He has already blasted six homers (most on the team) and knocked in eight runs (tied for the team lead). He usually sits in the three hole and with more protection around him will probably continue to accrue solid numbers.
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His career against the Phils is not Chipper Jones-esque, but it is still enough to warrant concern heading into the season (.303/.348/.475). In 406 at bats against the Phils over his career, he has hit 15 homers and rounded up 66 RBI. At Citizen’s Bank Park, he has hit more than half of those 15 bombs (8) and stroked an impressive .272/.352/.452 in his 58 appearances there.
The Phillies pitchers this weekend, Jeremy Hellickson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Zach Eflin are going to want to try and stay away with fastballs and beat him with breaking stuff in on Freeman. He is a difficult strikeout and will take his walks (2017: 13 Ks and 10 walks). It may be better to try to pitch to contact, but nothing too good or Freeman will make this a long weekend.