Aug 20, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Medlen Gets Nod For Play-In Game

On Saturday, Fredi Gonzalez announced that Kris Medlen was going to move up a spot in the rotation, lining him up to start the Friday wild-card play-in game after two more regular season starts.  This was one of the options I laid out in my post last week.

By starting tomorrow night’s game, Medlen is set up to start Sunday on normal rest, then Friday on the same four days’ rest.  This will give him the best chance to keep his amazing rhythm going, though you never know when that can end.  It’s the safest move Fredi could make, which is why I can’t argue against it.

I just think it lowers the chance of advancing in the playoffs.  Right now, there’s a strong probability that the Braves will face the Cardinals in the play-in game.  St. Louis has a very right-handed heavy lineup, with Matt Holliday, David Freese, Allen Craig, and Yadier Molina carrying the lineup.  Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker, and Daniel Descalso are the lefties, and they do not carry the same fear.  Medlen is fairly neutral in his L/R splits, both in his results and peripherals.  Tim Hudson‘s platoon results this season have been fairly even, but his FIP and xFIP are much better against righties.

Medlen gives the Braves the best chance to win, but Hudson would only slightly lower the odds of winning that one game.  However, if the Braves go on to face the Reds or Nationals, their balanced lineup will hit Huddy more than Medlen.  If the goal is to make the “true” playoffs and hope for the best, the Braves are taking the right option.  If they expect to win series, this probably hurts those chances.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to approach this game, since single games are so unpredictable.  I would have lined up Huddy for the game, but going with your best starter is always a legitimate approach.

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  • Lee Trocinski

    The front page poll, at this moment, shows that three more of you agree with me, while three like the current plan. Does anyone else have any additional points that swayed their decision?

  • stoic travelor

    The 1 game playoff is a baaaad idea, for reasons I hope I do not need to discuss. But, given that this is the way it is gonna be, the logical choice is to go ALL IN on the 1 game. Other comments; Medlin has been unflappable, largely due to his tempo (game-wise and personally). This kind of advantage should carry through in the regular season, a playoff game, or on Mars. He is not keeping cool, he just barrels through everything. Yea, I know, Huddy is pretty cool himself. Also, If Huddy started and needed relief, who would I want to come in for that game? guess who, so he might as well start. Medlin, O’flarity, Kimbrell. we win, we go on. Oh yea…How bout them Dawgs and Falcons?

  • stoic travelor

    Oh yea, if we win this game, after last year’s debaucle(?), we will be so pumped that the Braves will get hot bats. That should help the rotation issues.

  • Carlos Collazo

    I have to agree with Stoic on this one, if it’s a one-game playoff and you don’t use the best pitcher you have to throw that game you are doing everyone a disservice. Make it past the first “round” then worry about the second. Besides, Huddy and Minor give the Braves as good a chance as most people could want to do well in a series against the Nats and Reds.

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