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Series Preview: Pirates at Braves

Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates head southeast to SunTrust Park for a quick turnaround rematch with the Atlanta Braves. The two teams met just a week ago in PNC Park, with the Pirates taking two of three.

The Braves are coming off a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins, highlighted by yesterday’s 12th inning comeback victory. Atlanta has won six of their last ten and are one game behind the National League East-leading Philadelphia Phillies.

The Pirates have lost seven of their last ten after being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend. This leaves Pittsburgh seven games back in the NL Central and just one game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Reds.

First pitch at SunTrust is scheduled for 7:20 PM EST.

Schedule

Monday, 7:20 p.m. — Joe Musgrove (4-6, 4.44 ERA) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-5, 6.15 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Tuesday, 7:20 p.m. — Chris Archer (3-5, 5.20 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 5.89 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Wednesday 7:20 p.m. — Mitch Keller vs. Mike Soroka (7-1, 1.38 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Thursday 12:10 p.m. — Joe Musgrove (4-6, 4.40 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (4-4, 3.03 ERA)
TV: AT&T SportsNet-PIT

Braves Notes

Offense

-Freddie Freeman (.333) and Ronald Acuna Jr (.325). are the hottest Braves hitters this month with seven home runs and 19 RBIs between them through nine games.

-Ozzie Albies is starting to come around, posting a 114 wRC+ with a strikeout rate of just 2.7% in his 37 plate appearances.

-Josh Donaldson and Austin Riley are both struggling mightily, with Riley hitting just .162 (35.9% K-rate) and Donaldson a paltry .111 (26.8% K-rate).

Pitching

-The Pirates take on Gausman again to kick off the three-game series. Last week in Pittsburgh, the righty gave up 12 hits (two HRs) and seven earned runs through five innings pitched. During his last four starts, Gausman has allowed 20 earned runs with an average of four innings pitched per start.

-Foltynewicz returns to the mound to face the Pirates in game two. While he fared slightly better than Gausman, he still gave up six hits (two of which were HRs) and three earned runs. Folty did strike out five batters with just one walk, but his mediocre performance still drew a loss. Of his eight starts this season, only three have resulted in two earned runs or less.

-The last game of the series will be a big challenge for the Pirates. Soroka has been one of the best pitchers in baseball with a 7-1 record and an elite 1.38 ERA. While that might not be sustainable long-term (FIP is currently 2.70), Soroka hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in nine of his ten starts this season. Whats more, he’s allowed just one home run in 65.1 innings pitched. Soroka is coming off his best start of 2019, defeating the Marlins with an eight-inning, three-hit, one earned run and 3-1 K/BB rate outing.