Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves MLB Opening Weekend Series Preview

Cincinnati Reds vs Atlanta Braves MLB Opening Weekend Series Preview

Sam Frohman
1 year ago
2 min read
Who's that new kid? Darren Baker, now 13, was the center of attention for a few moments as the team took the field. The Cincinnati Reds pitcher and catchers on Day two of Spring Training.

The Cincinnati Reds will open up their 2022 regular season with a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves starting Thursday, April 7th at 8:08 p.m. in Atlanta on ESPN2.

The Braves are expected to have a very solid season with the potential of a World Series berth if they can stay healthy. They are projected to have 92 wins and finish at the top of the National League East.

The Reds, on the other hand, have traded/let go of most of their young key players from last season, which will prove to be a huge problem, especially in terms of depth.

They will need to stay healthy, or this expected subpar season could turn worse. They anticipate winning 72 games and finishing fourth in the National League Central.

Let’s look ahead at this first series of the season and what we can expect from both teams.

Pitching Matchup

The one confirmed pitching matchup is for Opening Day, where Braves ace Max Fried will take on the young Tyler Mahle. Fried pitched in 28 games last season, posting a 3.04 ERA and 158 strikeouts.

Mahle pitched in 33 games in 2021, in which he had an ERA of 3.75 and 210 strikeouts. Batters who he faced only had a .234 batting average against him last season.

The expected rest of the series for the Braves is still up in the air, but the Reds are expected to start some more of their young guns, including Reiver Sanmartin, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Hunter Greene.

Reds Expected Starters

The big story that Cincinnati fans are wrapping their heads around is what the starting lineup will look like now that a lot of the familiar faces from last year are gone. Here is what I’m thinking that Reds fans should expect to see on the opening day roster.

Outside of Mahle, who should be the starting pitcher, catcher Tyler Stephenson, second baseman Jonathan India, Joey Votto at first base, Mike Moustakas at third, and shortstop Kyle Farmer should round out the infield. In the outfield, Tommy Pham, Nick Senzel, and Aristides Aquino will most likely start from left field to right.

Most of this team, outside of Pham, Reds fans should recognize and can expect some production from. The main concern I have is the depth and who the Reds have for reserves.

Tyler Naquin is expected to be the first reserve as the designated hitter. Other notable bench players include Jose Barrero, Max Schrock, and Jake Fraley.

If the Reds run into any injury problems, it will be extremely detrimental to the team. If the mentality is “next man up” and there is no one to step up, it won’t end well for these Redlegs.

Expected Outcome

As most would expect, the Reds are projected to be completely overpowered in a series with a tale of two different teams. I expect the Reds to sneak out a win and start off the year with a 1-3 record coming off of the first series of the season.

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