MLB Playoffs preview: Reds and Braves battle to advance to NLDS

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run double in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 25: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a two-run double in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves fields a ball against the Cincinnati Reds.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – AUGUST 03: Freddie Freeman #5 of the Atlanta Braves fields a ball against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Atlanta great looks to get Braves over the postseason hump

Over the past decade, Freddie Freeman has been one of the best players in the National League and 2020 was no different. The 30-year-old Braves first baseman slashed .341/.462/.640 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs. As if that wasn’t enough, he led the NL in runs scored with 51 and doubles with 23 while producing a 186 OPS+. In other words, a typical Freddie Freeman season.

Just how good has Freeman been over the last decade? Since his rookie season in 2011, he is first among NL first baseman with 857 RBI and second with 239 homers. Additionally, the four-time All-Star is third in bWAR trailing only the Reds Joey Votto and the Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt. Finally, he’s had four Top 10 finishes in the MVP balloting.

The only thing left for Freeman to accomplish is to bring winning baseball back to Atlanta during the MLB Playoffs. Appearing in the postseason four times throughout his career, Freeman has been good in the playoffs, but not his normal dominating self. Slashing a solid .286/.344/.466 Freeman has just two homers and two RBIs in 56 October at-bats.

Throughout his career, Freeman has been a headache for Reds pitching. Appearing in 54 games he’s blasted 10 homers and drove home 32 base runners. However, there is one Reds hurler who gives the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner fits.

I’m not sure what kind of spell Cincinnati closer Raisel Iglesias has over Freeman, but I hope he’ll share it with the rest of the pitching staff. Freeman is hitless in seven plate appearances against Iggy. If it comes down to Freeman versus Iggy, history tells us good things are heading the Reds way.