The Atlanta Braves opening day lineup has 3 likely upsets

The Atlanta Braves will likely have some big surprises on their opening-day list, starting with an interesting prospect.

Brian Snitker admitted his list was pretty much set for last Thursday’s opening day. Though he didn’t name names, those who cover the team daily can guess at this point.

So what should Braves fans expect?

There are three surprises on the Braves opening day roster, as is usually the case for competitive teams with some fluctuations.

William Contreras, Spencer Strider and Tucker Davidson should all make up the Braves’ big league roster to start the campaign. Whether they’ll be in Atlanta long-term remains to be seen, but it’s still a big step for the young players.

Braves opening day list: 3 surprises

William Contreras

Contreras’ place is definitely a surprise given that Atlanta already had two catchers guaranteed to make the list in Travis d’Arnaud and Manny Piña. However, Contreras has one of the last bench spots on the suspension, giving the brother of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras a major league opportunity.

“Catching is his main thing,” Snitker said, according to’s Mark Bowman. “We still see him as an eye-catcher. But with his athleticism, you could possibly move him for the diamond.”

Tucker Davidson

With the Braves going into a six-man rotation early in the season, Davidson won last-place finish from Kyle Muller. Atlanta doesn’t have a day off for the first two weeks of the season, so they need fresh guns. That’s where Davidson – and its counterpart Strider – fit in.

Spencer Strider

The Braves have yet to decide whether Strider or Davidson will get the No. 6 rotation slot, but Snitker loves the former’s potential as a starter and long reliever. Strider throws 101 MPH but needs to develop his breaking stuff before he can be a reliable starting pitcher at the big league level.

For now, Atlanta will take him to his strengths.

“I like the progress [Strider] did,” Snitker said. “How [Saturday], every time he goes out there will be a learning experience because he will face a competition he has never faced before. He has weapons and I’ve seen a lot of improvements to his secondary stuff.”

The Braves play the Reds at Truist Park on opening day. The Atlanta Braves opening day lineup has 3 likely upsets

John Verrall

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