Sunday, August 22 – 2:20 (Fox Sports South)
Atlanta Braves (72-51) vs. Chicago Cubs (51-73)
(3.75 ERA, 4.24 xFIP, 2.25 BB/9, 7.50 K/9, 9.6 SwStr%)
(Career vs. CHC: First Start)
(4.44 ERA, 3.96 xFIP, 2.80 BB/9, 6.99 K/9, 10.1 SwStr%)
(Career vs. ATL: 3 GS, 2-0, 1.42 ERA, 2 BB, 9 K)
Cubs vs. Minor:
What to Look For:
The Braves turn to Minor in his first pressure test, pitching in a rubber game at Wrigley. How he responds is the story today. Also worth noting is the Braves are facing a tough righty in Randy Wells, who shut the Braves out over six innings in the first series of the season. If they plan to give Minor some support they will need to turn their fortunes around against Wells, who has solid career numbers against them.
My Take on the Opposition:
Wells has had some bad luck this season and is pitching better than a 4.44 ERA. He has a 3.96 xFIP and 10.1 SwStr%, and he’s striking out more at 6.99 K/9. His walk rate remains good at 2.80 BB/9 and he’s getting grounders at 45%. Wells produces an effective slider that he throws a lot, along with a good fastball and show-me change. When he gets high strikeout totals off the slider he’s a tough pitcher to face. He gave up one run on three hits in seven innings against the Padres last time out. He has been tough against the Braves in three starts, allowing four runs in 19 innings with a 2-0 record. That includes six shutout innings earlier this season.