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Braves deploy usual suspects to back Elder in Battle of the Bryces

I’m not sure I understand the bottom of the lineup, though

MLB: APR 12 Reds at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Braves are sending their usual cast of characters out there for the Battle of the Bryces:

They haven’t actually used this exact lineup yet, but it’ll be the third time this starting nine takes the field.

One part that seems somewhat confusing to me is the bottom of this lineup. Orlando Arcia has moved up to eighth, creating back-to-back righties with Marcell Ozuna and pushing Michael Harris II to ninth. However, Harris’ presence there and his large platoon splits create a situation where an opposing team can deploy a lefty reliever to face him and Matt Olson in a span of three batters, which seems unideal for the Braves. Given the lack of huge differences in PAs between the eighth and ninth spots, you could probably benefit more by keeping Arcia ninth (even if you could argue he should be moved up considerably more than eighth in the lineup).

Meanwhile, the Mariners lineup for Friday is this:

This is the same lineup and defensive arrangement the Mariners used on Wednesday, when they lost 12-3 to the Red Sox, and they haven’t used it previously. Pretty much this entire lineup, one through nine, has an above-average xwOBA, which is rough going for Elder. Few of the xwOBAs are truly great — only Jarred Kelenic and Cal Raleigh have one above .350 — but there are no soft spots here.

First pitch is at 7:20 pm ET and the game can be “found” on Apple TV+.

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