There will surely come a time when Brian Snitker puts Ronald Acuna in the 3- or 4-hole and leaves him there. For now, the Braves are better when Acuna digs in with nobody on and nobody out in the first. Last year’s team did its most damage with him leading off; this year’s team got going when Snitker moved him back to the top of the order. Cause and effect, no?
Having one of the game’s more powerful hitters lead off flies in the face of old-school baseball, where you wanted your boppers to hit with men aboard. In the year 2019, however, almost anybody is capable of being a bopper. In any era, there’s no jolt like having your leadoff man score before the opposing pitcher records an out.