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Olson slides down to fifth, Albies up to second as Braves take aim at Freeland

A lineup shakeup is afoot

Atlanta Braves vs. Oakland Athletics Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

With lefty Kyle Freeland set to kick off the four-game weekend set for the Rockies in Atlanta, the Braves have shuffled their lineup. Matt Olson slides down to fifth, while Ozzie Albies moves up to second.

In a vacuum, the move isn’t surprising. Olson’s .294 xwOBA against southpaws is the worst for any Brave on the roster (i.e., even worse than fellow lefty-swinger Sam Hilliard’s .302). Albies, meanwhile, has a .424 xwOBA against lefties. Interestingly, Orlando Arcia has a .503 xwOBA (and .585 wOBA!!) against lefties this year, but he’s still buried in the eight-hole, so this remains more of a “feel-y” move than one purely driven by any specific set of numbers.

If you do each of the players’ last three seasons, you get something like this — which definitely justifies dropping Olson, but still doesn’t explain why Arcia is where he is.

Anyway, suffice to say, this is a novel lineup given that Olson has hit second in all 68 games this season so far prior to this one. The Braves are 1-1 with this starting nine, including a 12-0 win against the Rangers and a 2-1 loss in Oakland.

Here’s this lineup’s history against Freeland — it’s kind of amusing given the above.

I’d love to tell you about the lineup the Rockies will be using, but it appears they forgot they have a game in about two hours, so... welp.

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