The Braves have once again reshuffled the top of their order in an attempt to get someone, anyone, on base for when Freddie Freeman comes to the plate. (Or they could just bat Freeman second and obviate this problem, but shhhhh.)
Here’s how the Braves line up for tonight’s opener.
This will be Inciarte’s first time hitting leadoff since June 3. The Braves have tried both him and Ozzie Albies at leadoff this season (plus Swanson for one game last weekend), and Albies currently has 39 starts in the 1-hole to Inciarte’s 33. Of the eight position players in the lineup, Inciarte is sixth in OBP and Albies is eighth, so the Braves really should get over their aversion to putting the best OBPs in the spots that come up most often, but that doesn’t appear to be happening tonight.
This is the first time this season the Braves are using this particular lineup. It’s also the eight time this season the Braves are using this group of position players.
Chris Davis is back in the Orioles lineup vs Sean Newcomb pic.twitter.com/GACPCJXdOm— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) June 22, 2018
The Orioles counter with a lineup shakeup of their own. Most of these players, aside from Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Danny Valencia, don’t usually bat in these spots, or at least haven’t this season.
No player on the Baltimore roster has ever faced Sean Newcomb. The only Braves starter to have faced Cobb is Nick Markakis, who accumulated 18 at-bats against the righty while he was an Oriole and Cobb was a Ray, but never managed a homer or RBI off of him. Ryan Flaherty, the recently-recalled Danny Santana, and Kurt Suzuki have all also faced Cobb a few times each.