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Series Preview: Braves at Pirates

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Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to pull for an Atlanta Braves team, whatever humans happen to populate the roster at a given time, but the group coming into Pittsburgh is a pretty fun one. The Braves are young, and they’re making noise a little ahead of schedule, not too far removed from a through teardown.

That said, the Pirates (63-62) are catching Atlanta after the Braves were swept in a four-game series by the Rockies at home over the weekend. They had won five in a row, and eight of 10, before that. The Braves sit a half-game ahead of the Phillies for first place in the National League East.

Schedule

Monday, 7:05 p.m. — Kevin Gausman (7-9, 4.22 ERA) vs. Chris Archer (4-5, 4.49); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. — Julio Teheran (8-7, 4.24) vs. Ivan Nova (7-7, 4.26); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. — Sean Newcomb (10-6, 3.73) vs. Trevor Williams (10-9, 3.53); TV: AT&T SportsNet

Braves

68-55 (70-53 Pythag, 4.85 RS/G, 4.15 RA/G)

Offense

Freddie Freeman (.320/.402/.530, 20 HR) is having an MVP-caliber season, Nick Markakis (.318/.379/.492, 14 HR) is having a surprising late-career renaissance and even Charlie Culberson (.292/.336/.509, 9 HR) has given Atlanta a solid contribution. But it’s youth people think of with this Braves team. Fortunately, Ronald Acuna (.295/.359/.575, 19 HR) hasn’t had to miss much time after Jose Urena’s ugly, gutless beanball. Ozzie Albies (.279/.313/.484, 21 HR) provides quality production all around. Dansby Swanson (.241/.297/.394, 10 HR) is giving excellent glovework while the bat still comes around.

Pitching

Mike Foltynewicz (10.42 K/9, 3.50 BB/9) is in the tier of really good NL pitchers but below Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer; it seems the Pirates will be fortunate to miss him. Sean Newcomb (8.20 K/9, 4.27 BB/9, 135 IP) is nearing a pro-career innings high for a season, as second-year starters are known to do. Kevin Gausman (7.30 K/9, 2.27 BB/9) and reliever Brad Brach (8.87 K/9, 4.05 BB/9) have been freed from Baltimore.

Audiovisual Supplement of the Series

The still employed Phil Wellman, from a while ago:

Poll

How many games will the Pirates win against the Braves?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    3
    (53 votes)
  • 52%
    2
    (169 votes)
  • 23%
    1
    (75 votes)
  • 8%
    0
    (28 votes)
325 votes total Vote Now