SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of fans will make their way to ballparks for Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season.

For the Atlanta Braves, their NL East title defense starts with a three-game series up north against the Philadelphia Phillies.  

GPB's ME producer Taylor Gantt

Their first home game won’t be until April 1, when they face the Chicago Cubs.

The 2018 season ended in a 3-1 series defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the divisional round, but a drought was ended in the process.

It marked the first time the Braves made the playoffs since 2013, when they also lost a best of five series to the Dodgers, 3-1.

Baby Braves

Younger players on the Braves stole the show as the team made their post-season run. Ronald Acuna Jr. won National League Rookie of the Year honors as he homered his way into record books.

Ozzie Albies, a 22-year-old second baseman, also turned in an all-star campaign. He was the youngest of four Braves to make the All-Star roster.

Albies was joined by first baseman Freddie Freeman, outfielder Nick Markakis, and starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz.

Offseason Acquisitions         

The Braves didn’t make as big of a splash as their Opening Day counterparts. The Phillies signed outfielder Bryce Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million contract.

But they did bring in a familiar face in catcher Brian McCann. McCann spent the first nine years of his career in a Braves uniform.

“Last year to win the division to get the Braves back to where they’re supposed to be, to join it right now is perfect timing,” the catcher said during a spring training game.

They also landed third-base slugger Josh Donaldson as well as keeping some other key contributors like Nick Markakis.

As far as a return to the post season, the Braves are looking to win back to back division titles for the first time since the 2004-05 seasons.

They’ll also continue pursuit for their first World Series title in 24 years.