Monday, April 23, 2012

Braves @ Dodgers: Series Preview

I hope you diehards have your finest blend of Starbucks ready for this series, because we all know what a road matchup with the Dodgers entails: 10 PM first pitches, and games that go on into the wee hours of the morning here on the Eastern coast. Am I happy about it? No, and I'm even less pleased that the Dodgers are hotter than a Saharan frying pan. Thems the breaks, though. Here are your matchups!

Game 1: Jurrjens v. Capuano
Game 2: Minor v. Harang
Game 3: Beachy v. Lilly

The JJ v. Capuano matchup is a wash. JJ is iffy right now at best. Capuano is a lefty that hasn't gone very deep in games yet this year, and is prone to giving up a few walks if you are patient. We have been VERY patient lately, and I hope that trend continues in this game. He's sporting a 4.50 ERA, and has been relying on the Dodgers offense to get him some wins. The funny part of this series is that our backup players like Jack Wilson, David Ross, and Matty Diaz have owned Capuano in their careers. Would I be shocked to see a couple of them get the start? Nope.

Minor v. Harang favors us. Minor has given up one earned run in his last two starts. Harang is carrying a 5.40 ERA and hasn't gone longer than 6.1 innings so far this season. He's a righty that gives up a lot of fly ball outs, and our lineup crushes this guy. Bourn is .333 against him with a double and HR. Chipper is batting .400 against him with a cycle. BMac is .550 against him with five doubles and two homers. Uggs is batting .375 against him with four doubles and two homers. We should and can win this game with the bats. This is the one I'm pointing at that favors us the most. The "must-win" of the series.

Beachy v. Lilly sounds like a fruity girl drink you sip near the ocean. Would you like a Beachy Lilly? It comes in mango, strawberry, and passionfruit. But I digress. Beachy is spot on right now. He's the strongest pitcher we have on the staff, and according to my friend Ashleigh he's also the sexiest hurler in our rotation. Due to the fact the rubber match of the series is unlikely to include a beauty contest, we'll probably have find a way to solve Lilly with the bats. That could prove difficult since he's a crafty lefty with a 0.69 ERA. However, that stat can be misleading due to the fact he faced Houston and SD, two of the more woeful offenses in the league. Look for Dan Uggla and Martin Prado to provide some spark against Lilly, as they have enjoyed some success in prior games.

This series has 1-2 written all over it if we're not careful. The pitching will have to be solid to keep the hot Dodgers offense from turning our dream road trip into a nightmare. As per usual, I will point out one guy that the Braves should avoid at all costs. That guy in this series is Matt Kemp. DON'T PITCH TO MATT KEMP. He's batting .450 on the season with 22 RBIs and 9 homers. Take him away, and the Dodgers are basically a bunch of nobodies who are barely scraping together a .240 average. Let's see if we can't give the Dodgers a couple of their first home losses for the year.

Go Braves!

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