It's here: Braves host Phillies Monday night

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comApril 1, 2013 

Happy Opening Day!

The Atlanta Braves host the Philadelphia Phillies today at 7 p.m., and our very own Tim Hudson (former Glenwood, CVCC and Auburn standout) will be the starting pitcher.

It's been exactly 178 days since the Braves lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in the National League wildcard game that brought out the most passion Atlanta has seen from its fans when they threw anything and everything out on the field after an, ahem, questionable infield fly call.

This was my view of the mayhem:

Now that that's behind us, these new-look Braves will open the 2013 season with several fresh faces.

Here is your opening day lineup:

Andrelton Simmons, playing shortstop; Jason Heyward, in right field; Justin Upton, in left; Freddie Freeman, playing first; B.J. Upton, in center; Dan Uggla, playing second; Chris Johnson, at third; Gerald Laird, behind the plate; and Hudson, pitching.

Don't recognize some of these names? That's because only Heyward, Freeman and Uggla were on the 2012 opening day roster.

And most of the offseason moves made the Braves considerable younger. The average age of today's Atlanta lineup is 28, with Hudson the oldest at 37. The youngest? Simmons, Heyward and B.J. Upton are 23. In fact, the first five in the Braves' lineup 28 or younger.

So, with all that said, I bet you're wondering what time and channel to turn your TV to tonight. The pregame show begins at 6 p.m. with game time set for 7. Here's the lineup of channels I found using TVGuide.com:

Charter- 35 Knology (WOW!)- 23 Mediacom- 37 Cable TV of East Alabama- 13 DirecTV- 646 Dish Network- 420

So, what are your predictions? Will the Braves make the playoffs? The Nationals, also in the NL East, are the favorite to win the World Series. Does Atlanta have a chance at the NL East or will they face another dreaded do-or-die wildcard game?

Let's hear it.

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