Game 1 - Perez v. Morton
Game 2 - Teheran v. Locke
Game 3 - Wood v. Cole
Perez has been the surprise of the early season so far. Coming from obscurity to suddenly emerging as a part of the rotation in 3 starts, and doing a great job. Perez has only allowed 2 earned runs in his 3 starts over a combined 18 innings. He'll face Charlie Morton, coming off a hip injury last year which delayed his opening as a starter for the Pirates. Morton has a 2-0 record in 2 starts with a 1.93 ERA, but he's been giving up a lot of balls in play which is good for the Braves hitters.
Teheran is coming off a Braves win in San Francisco (despite his two homers given up and a no-decision), which continues his theme of up and down starts this season. What I'm hoping is that while we've all noticed the velocity issues with Julio, he'll get back to what's really important. And that's his placement of the ball. It doesn't matter how fast you throw the ball if you're leaving it middle-up out over the plate to MLB hitters. And Julio has been doing that. It has to stop. On the other side the Braves get Jeff Locke, a struggling starter for the Pirates with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Locke gave up 14 runs in his 3 losses, while giving up nothing in a win against Miami. But one would hope we're better than Miami, and could rough up Locke.
Alex Wood has three wins in a row with one earned run in each game. Gerrit Cole has 8 wins (no, that's not a typo, look it up, it's crazy), and he's won his last 3 games with 2 runs total. This is quite possibly the best pitching matchup we'll see all month. Cole is having an almost Cy Young type season, while Alex has suddenly figured out how to keep the ball down and get through tough outings. Neither set of lineups has had particular success against the opposing pitcher, so I wouldn't expect a huge amount of runs in this game. Then again, the baseball gods tend to frown on supposed "best matchups" and we might see a flurry of runs we haven't seen in weeks.
Hey it won a game! Going 1-2 on the series and now 17-31 on the season, I don't really see the point in keeping up with units anymore because, well it's bad. If you bet the CPA you're wearing a barrel at this point. Don't bet on it, just enjoy me trying to scramble back some form of winning streak.
Game 1 - Pirates by 1
Game 2 - Braves by 1
Game 3 - Pirates by 1
Welp, these games are really close, but I think if the bullpen can turn it around, some of those predicted losses will be wins. We just need to keep the games in check after the starter leaves.