Both the Brewers and Braves are playing bad baseball right now, both have 4-6 records in their last 10 games, but the Brewers have lost 3 in a row, whereas the Braves are looking at a 4-6 record and high-fiving themselves for pulling it together. That's where we live now, it's time to own it. It's our cardboard box of crap and it's up to use to hang new curtains in the place. On to the matchups.
Game 1 - Teheran v. Nelson
Game 2 - Foltynewicz v. Guerra
Game 3 - Wisler v. Peralta
A quick rundown of the Braves starters: Julio has been dominating his last 5 starts, giving up only 3 earned runs in almost 33 innings, which is phenomenal. Foltynewicz got crushed in his last start giving up 5 runs to the Pirates in 3 innings, so he needs to bounce back against the struggling Brewers. Wisler had a rough outing against Boston, then bounced back with 4 straight quality starts, 6 earned runs in 30 innings. He and Teheran are the two strongest starters the Braves have right now, and both are going in this series. That should be exciting news.
The Braves offense has improved as well. Over the last week, Chase d'Arnaud is hitting .462 with 2 doubles, Tyler Flowers is hitting .400 with a homer and 2 RBIs, Gordon Beckham is hitting .333 with 3 doubles and 3 RBIs, Jeff Francoeur is hitting .308 with a double and a homer, Mallex is hitting .286 with 2 homers, and Ender Inciarte is hitting .273 with a double and an RBI. That's a lot of good production on the week. In fact, the only guys who had an average week at the plate were Nick Markakis hitting .178 and Freddie Freeman hitting .208, but he had 2 homers and 5 RBIs so he made up for a lot of it with production. Basically, the Braves are heating up on the week with scoring, and as a result there were 15th in runs scored. Which is way up from their season total of dead last.
The Braves face Nelson, Guerra, and Peralta. Jimmy Nelson has been pitching well, but he's off and on with his control. When he's walking people, he gets himself into big trouble. When he's not walking people, he's got very good strikeout stuff and can ruin your day. The problem in Nelson's last two starts was his offense. He pitched two gems, giving up just 2 runs in 15.1 innings, and the Brewers lost them both. That should tell you where they are right now offensively as a ballclub.
Junior Guerra is a rookie making his 5th start in the majors. Here's the hilarious thing, the Brewers have won all 4 of his starts so far. He's unbeaten as a starter in his career. Why? With a 3.96 ERA it's mostly luck honestly. He's given up plenty of runs, but the Brewers decided to hit those days. I guarantee Nelson is wondering what the hell is going on when Guerra gets 5 runs of support in 3 games each. Still, that doesn't mean Guerra is a bad pitcher, but as a 31 year old rookie out of Venezuela, he had plenty of time to make it to the majors at a younger age and didn't. I think the Braves can get after this guy if Folty can hold it together. BIG if there right now.
Wily Peralta is an absolute mess right now. With a 6.99 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP, he has no control over the zone and he's giving up an opp average of .363 this season. The only guy on the Braves team with any real looks at Peralta is Freddie Freeman, who has a homer and a 1.200+ OPS against him. The rest of the team has seen him basically once, or not at all. Now's a great time to face him with Wisler on the mound. If you were comparing trends, Wisler is on the way up, while Peralta is on the way down. However, as one of my followers reminded me, the one tonic that seems to cure the ills of a struggling starter is this Braves team. We can make anybody look like Nolan Ryan for some reason.
0-3 on the Phillies series. What a mess. The CPA is now 20-21, and fallen into a losing record. But not for long. I feel good about these picks this week. Let's check them out.
Game 1 - Braves by 1
Game 2 - Milwaukee by 2
Game 3 - Braves by 2
The first game is a coinflip. I hope the Braves can pull it out, but it's dang close. The other two are a pretty good spread, so I think the Braves can take this series at home.