The Atlanta Braves did the unthinkable in 2021, capturing their first World Series Championship since 1995. A big reason for the team’s success last season was their pitching. Both starting pitchers Max Fried and Charlie Morton were fantastic down the stretch, leaving Braves manager Brian Snitker with a tough decision. Who will start on Opening Day this year?
The Athletic’s David O’Brien captured Snitker’s decision, and they are going with youth.
Your 2022 Opening Day starting pitcher: pic.twitter.com/e8GGg0HMPE
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 30, 2022
Fried is entering his sixth year in the Majors, all with Atlanta. He struggled during the first half of the season last year, but in the second half, he really turned it on. The Braves lefty went 11-3 with an NL-best 1.74 ERA, leading Atlanta to the NL East crown.
Morton, on the other hand, was fantastic for Atlanta all season. However, in Game 1 of the 2021 World Series, Morton took a come-backer off his leg from Yuli Gurriel and fractured his fibula. The 38-year-old Braves ace is fully recovered and ready for another great season. He actually began his journey in the Majors with Atlanta being drafted by them in the 2002 MLB Draft.
Atlanta has an imposing rotation that apparently lines up with the 28-year-old Fried at the top. That’s followed by Morton, Ian Anderson, Kyle Wright and Huascar Ynoa.
However, on big change from last season will be Freddie Freeman is no longer with the club. He signed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team Atlanta beat in the NLCS. They do get former All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr. back after he missed most of the 2021 season with injury.