Dodgers-Braves NLDS Preview: Who Wins The Battle Of Intangibles?

The Braves are led by shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who was the MLB leader in DRS. Around the infield, the Braves have stability at first base with Freddie Freeman and his .993 fielding percentage. Infielders Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson aren’t as strong, as they lead the team with 14 errors apiece. Uggla could be replaced by Elliott Johnson depending on matchups.

In the outfield, the Braves have three capable outfielders with above-average speed. Left fielder Justin Upton is the weak link, as he led the outfielders in errors. Heyward’s strong arm in right field adds another dimension to his defensive prowess. If B.J. Upton’s struggles at the plate continue, manager Fredi Gonzalez may choose to have Evan Gattis in the outfield. Gattis has limited ranged and a strong arm. At catcher, Brian McCann is known more for his offense rather than his defense. McCann throws out just 24.2% of runners, but only had three passed balls all season.

The Dodgers defense is strong at the corners with Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez. Uribe leads the team with 15 DRS, while Gonzalez is right behind with 11 DRS. The Dodgers infield is also boosted by second baseman Mark Ellis, who posted a .989 fielding percentage and 12 DRS. Where the Dodgers may have trouble is at shortstop with Ramirez.

The Dodgers slugger led the team with 13 errors, despite only playing in 86 games. In the outfield, the Dodgers could be without two former Gold Glove winners. Matt Kemp is out for the season and Andre Ethier could only be available as a pinch-hitter leaving Skip Schumaker as a potential replacement.

At the corners, the Dodgers have speed in Crawford and Puig. Crawford’s arm strength can be a liability, while Puig’s arm strength can be a huge weapon in holding runners. The Dodgers are set at catcher with A.J. Ellis and his .997 fielding percentage. Ellis also throws out 44.4% of runners.


Both teams enter the playoffs with managers looking for their first postseason victory. The Braves’ Gonzalez led them to the playoffs for the second consecutive season and has an overall .574 winning percentage with the Braves in three seasons. Gonzalez is 0-1 in the postseason with the loss coming last season against the Cardinals in the Wild Card game.

The Dodgers have Don Mattingly, who will be in his first postseason as a manager. Mattingly has a .536 winning percentage with the Dodgers since taking over for Joe Torre in 2011. Mattingly was on the brink of being fired in June before his team took off and went on a 42-8 run that possibly saved his job.

So what do you think, who has the better intangibles?


In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!


Previous page 1 2

Staff Writer

Staff Writer features content written by our site editors along with our staff of contributing writers. Thank you for your readership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button