Unleashing Max Fried: Elevating Braves’ World Series Odds with Pitching Mastery

Max Fried has returned to the Atlanta Braves as they enter the postseason, making them an even bigger favorite to win the World Series. Fried’s performance down the stretch has been exceptional, and he has the potential to be the X-factor for the Braves this postseason.

Fried’s ability to induce poor contact has been a major strength throughout his career. He excels at limiting hard-hit balls and preventing barrels, which are hits with optimal exit velocity and launch angle that typically result in home runs and extra-base hits.

Here are four standout numbers that highlight Fried’s effectiveness:

  1. Average exit velocity allowed: Fried generated the fourth-lowest exit velocity among starters, ranking in the 91st percentile of MLB. Only a few pitchers, including Kyle Hendricks, Shohei Ohtani, and Corbin Burnes, allowed lower exit velocities.
  2. Hard-hit rate allowed: Less than a third of the batted balls Fried allowed were hit with an exit velocity of 95 mph or harder, Statcast’s threshold for hard contact. This places him in the 88th percentile of MLB pitchers.
  3. Barrel rate allowed: Fried is among the best at preventing barrels, allowing just eight barrels on 211 batted balls against him. He ranks in the 95th percentile of MLB pitchers in barrel rate allowed.
  4. Ground-ball rate induced: Fried induced the highest ground-ball rate of his career as a starting pitcher, ranking in the 97th percentile of MLB. This was coupled with a career-low line-drive rate, further demonstrating his ability to limit hard contact.

Fried will need to showcase his skills against the Phillies, a team that defeated the Braves in the playoffs last year. However, if he can execute his pitches and utilize his arsenal effectively, he has the potential to put the Braves back in control as the World Series favorites.


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