Monday, April 27, 2015

Braves and Nationals, Battle for the Weekly Trash Heap

The Braves and Nationals face off back in the friendly confines of Turner Field, and between the two teams they have exactly 2 wins in their last 12 games. Who will emerge atop the garbage heap of terrible baseball from the last week?!?! Onward we go to the analysis.

Game 1 - Stults v. Fister
Game 2 - Teheran v. Roark (or some guy)
Game 3 - Wood v. Zimmerman

Eric Stults had a terrible debut for the Braves, but his last game against the Mets was much better even though he lost. Stults went 6 innings and only gave up 1 run in his New York affair, but the Braves couldn't score more than a solitary run of their own. Any other day, he might have gotten the win. The guy to watch out for is Jayson Werth, who is 3/5 off Stults lifetime, but fortunately he's been ice cold so far this season hitting .171 with no homers. Don't give him a reason to warm up. Meanwhile, the Braves have to face off against Doug Fister (giggity) who is coming off his worst game in a long time against St. Louis. Fister got pounded for 4 runs in 6 innings, and hegot a no-decision even though he deserved a loss. Look for Markakis and Callaspo to beat him up though, as they've owned Fister lifetime with a respective .591 and .529 slugging. They could be difference makers in a close game.

Julio Teheran was awful in back to back starts, and he's sporting a 4.64 ERA on the season. That's not the Ace I know. Ever since his leg injury (that wasn't an injury according to everyone in the Braves organization) Julio has stunk. Personally, I think he's either hurt, lost his grip on the ball, or lost confidence in his fastball. Either way, he's wild and he's got to get better. He can't walk the ballpark against Nationals, or eventually somebody will make him pay.  The Nationals would normally pitch Scherzer agains the Braves in this slot, but he's got a thumb injury. That would place Tyler Roark in the mix for the start, but apparently he's not stretched out enough to do the job. So, the Nationals have a choice, pitch Roark or replace him with a call-up from AAA. We'll see what they decide. Until then, I have no idea what will happen.

Alex Wood needs a win. His last three starts have all been Braves losses, and frankly he got screwed in the last one. Alex pitched almost 6 innings of shutout ball, but the Braves couldn't scrape across a single run against the Phillies. That's just pathetic. So, I hope Alex can channel the fury into his next start. The best news is that Anthony Rendon, a player that absolutely owns all three Braves pitchers in this series, isn't going to return from the DL until Thursday. That means Alex won't have to worry about a guy his is hitting 8/13 (or .615) off him lifetime. The Braves need to deal with Jordan Zimmerman, though. He may have a 5.23 ERA right now, but the Braves have never hit him well as a team. In fact, in the last three years Zimmerman has a 2.83 ERA against the Braves, and they've only handed him one recorded loss. That was June 19th, 2014 when the Braves won 3-0, and Gavin Floyd shut him out. Remember Gavin Floyd? Exactly. That was last year and people barely remember he was on the team.

CPA Predictions:

The CPA battled back and went 2-1 in the last series, losing just the first game where it expected a close matchup. The CPA is now 7-8 with -3.65 units.

Game 1 - Nationals by 1 run
Game 2 - No pick, we don't know the pitchers
Game 3 - Braves by 1 run

So it looks like the tossup will be game 2. Whoever wins that game is likely going to win the series. Hopefully it's the Braves!


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