Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Series Preview: Braves v Dodgers April 19-21, 2016

I'm really excited about this series for the Braves for many reasons. The first is that they get to come home after a sweep of the Marlins, and we will see if the sweep was just a fluke. Also, they can prove that the TED isn't really cursed. Oh, and a guy named Alex Wood is going to pitch for the Dodgers. You may have heard of him. On to the matchups.

UPDATED: (Julio had the flu and flip-flopped with Perez)

Game 1 - Perez v. Wood
Game 2 - Teheran v. Stripling
Game 3 - Wisler v. Kershaw

The first game is the most interesting to me, mainly because we'll get to see Alex Wood back in Atlanta, but this time in a Dodger uniform. If I'm Alex, I'm looking to cram the baseball up the rear end of the Braves. Why? For trading me when it was obvious they needed pitching. To Alex, even though it's a business, that move had to seem personal since he was one of the few pitchers actually performing on the staff. He'll face Williams Perez since Julio had the flu, and was moved to Game 2.

Williams Perez starts on this team simply because we don't have a ton of better options right now. With an ERA of 7.00 and a WHIP of 1.70, it's a miracle the Braves actually won one of his two starts. But the worst part of Perez is that he can't even make it out of the 5th inning, and with the Braves bullpen issues that's a huge problem. You can't rely on 4+ bullpen innings producing anything but edge of your seat.

Alex hasn't been a whole lot better with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. But the big difference for Alex is while his first game was a 5-run disaster, his most recent game was a 7-inning, 1 run, winning effort. Whereas Julio is trending down in his starts, Alex is trending up. That may be a big deal for a Dodgers team that hasn't really started the way they expected, given what they've paid for talent.

In the second game, Ross Stripling for the Dodgers is a young gun righty who has only given up 3 runs in his first two starts. Oh and his WHIP is 0.75, which is absurd for a rookie. It can't last, right? Maybe we give him a welcome to the big leagues moment? Or maybe we curl up into a weeping ball in the 6th when the bullpen has the bases loaded with the game on the line? He'll be facing the Braves "Ace" in name only right now, because Julio Teheran has been anything but Ace-like this season. As I said in my last recap of his game, I still question if he can pitch effectively after the decline from last year. Julio has an early ERA of 6.35 with a WHIP of 1.47, which is wretched after 3 games. He's given up 4 homers, and 17 hits, while walking 8 batters. 25 runners in 3 games is a great way to lose unless you have your dancing shoes on.

The third game is Kershaw. Three starts, 1.65 ERA, a ZERO POINT FIVE FIVE (0.55) WHIP, and the Dodgers have won all his games. The sacrificial lamb for this one is Matt Wisler, who will have to pull a miracle out of his butt to outpitch Kershaw. Absolutely nobody in this lineup hits Kershaw well except a small sample size of Nick Markakis. The rest of the lineup is just an Arabian menagerie of swings and misses. Do we have a chance here? Sure, Kershaw might get bored and hit up one of Atlanta's fine dancing establishments the night before and come down with the Buckhead flu. Otherwise, nah.

CPA Predictions:

Well we won all three games on the weekend, which the CPA didn't predict. Mostly because only an insane person would have predicted that. But we're living in the land of the insane now. Up is down, good is bad, and Wisler is facing Kershaw. Anything can happen. CPA is 6-4 now on the year.

Game 1 - Dodgers by 1
Game 2 - Dodgers by 2
Game 3 - Dodgers by 4

The CPA is not convinced my friends! It laughs at the sweep and predicts doom at the TED! Will it be right? Man I hope not.


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