October 5, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of the 2012 National League wild card playoff game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds


 

Atlanta Braves 18-12 vs Cincinnati Reds 18-14

Cincinnati Reds is next on the schedule for the Atlanta Braves as the teams will battle in a three game series starting Monday night.  The Braves will take their 3-7 record in the last 10 games to Cincinnati.  The Reds are coming home after sweeping the Chicago Cubs this past weekend.  The Braves will miss the Reds top starters as Johnny Cueto is still out with a strained right lat injury and Mat Latos threw on Sunday.

Probable Pitching Starters

May 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm (28) pitches in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Monday: Atlanta Braves will send left-hander Paul Maholm to the mound for the opening game of this series.  Maholm started the year off 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA but since then, he hasn’t had the starts he has wanted.  Against Pittsburgh he gave up three earned runs and took the loss.  Then his next start was against Detroit who belted Paulie for eight runs off 10 hits and have him his second loss.  The Nationals then put two runs on the board off only three hits but he took another loss.  With the exception of the two starts against the Pirates and Tigers, Maholm has thrown really well for the Braves.  Paul is 3-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 2013.

The Reds will have Bronson Arroyo on the hill.  In every start so far in 2013, he has given up at least two runs in each of his starts.  He has faced tough teams early this year as he’s already went up versus the Angles, Cardinals twice, Phillies and Nationals.  Against the Nationals he gave up five runs off nine hits.  Bronson is 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 2013.

Tuesday: Kris Medlen will start game 2 for the Braves.  He’s started off the season a little shaky on the mound but looks to rebound against the Reds.  After his tremendous 2012 season, Medlen isn’t used to seeing the numbers he has so far this year.  During the Braves 12-1 start to the season, he recorded the only loss for the Braves.  After two positive starts against Miami and Kansas City, Kris struggled versus Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington.  Kris is 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 2013.

Homer Bailey is starting game 2 for Cincinnati, he just turned 27 on Friday so he will be looking for a little birthday present.  Bailey has pitched well this season but his stat totals don’t show that.  He had his only tough outings against the Cardinals as he’s faced them twice already, first giving up seven runs on nine hits and then his last outing giving up four runs on nine hits.  Homer hasn’t walked many this year (10) while he’s struck out many (35) in 37 innings.  Home is 1-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 2013.

Wednesday:  On the final game of this weekday series we will see the battle of the Mike’s.  The Braves will have Mike Minor serve as their starting pitcher for Wednesday’s match up.  Minor has impressed early this season but his last three outings just weren’t the same as his first three.  In his first games he was 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA and everyone started saying his name but the last three games against Colorado, Detroit and New York (Mets) he’s battled to be the pitcher everyone wants.  He gave up three runs to both the Rockies and the Mets but six to the Tigers.  The Braves got swept by the Tigers so all our pitchers stats are a little crooked.  Minor has only walked five hitters this year and has 31 strikeouts.  Mike is 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 2013.

The Reds’ Mike for game three match up is Mike Leake.  He has not had the start to the season that he’s wanted but the Reds have been able to battle back in the games he has thrown and he’s only acquired one loss so far this season.  Mike’s best start came against the Phillies as he went seven innings only giving up three hits, no runs, no walks and seven strikeouts to get the win.  Other then that game he’s giving up four runs, five, two, three and two runs in each of his starts.  Mike is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 2013.

Teams Batting

The Braves will see their All-Star catcher back in the lineup as Brian McCann returns to his teammates for the first time since last October after reconstructive shoulder surgery.  With his return, Fredi Gonzalezwill have the tough decision on what to do

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

with Evan Gattis who has started of 2013 with a bang.  Until Jason Heyward returns from his DL stint, I think they move Justin Upton to right field and put Gattis in left.  This will keep Gattis in the lineup and BMac hopefully getting back to his form.  I’m seeing the lineup for Monday…Andrelton Simmons, Chris Johnson, Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, B.J. Upton.

The Reds have all their stars healthy right now and should be ready to get the bats swinging in their home park of Great American Ballpark.  Their new leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo has posted a .465 on-base percentage so far this year as he’s reach base safely 28 games out of 30.  Joey Votto is off to another great year batting .322 with four home runs and 12 RBI’s.  Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier have been great for the Reds as Phillips has 27 RBI’s and Frazier has 23.

The Reds put up a lot of runs on the board but so do the Braves.  This should be a great head to head battle of two great NL teams.

Oh yeah…it’s hard not to mention the closers for these two teams.  Probably the best two savers in the game with Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman.  Both teams should try to pick on the others starters because the bullpen for each team is definitely a strength and will be difficult to get anything going.

 

 

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