What do I hate more than interleague? Even numbered series. Do not like. Do not want. Do not understand why we still do this instead of just playing 3 game series with a day off. I'm okay with everybody taking Mondays or Thursdays off. That's fine. It works. We don't get stupid long streaks that way where everyone is playing for 15 days straight. Everybody should have one day off a week, play 2 series, and always be playing on the weekend. Look, I solved your problems MLB. You're welcome. On to the matchups!
Game 1 - Blair v Wright
Game 2 - Teheran v Finnegan
Game 3 - Norris v DeSclafani
Game 4 - Wisler v. Straily
Braves Record: 18-44 with a 2 game losing streak
Cincy Record: 24-39 with a 1 game losing streak
As for the Braves starters, Aaron Blair is starting to worry people. He's got a 7.13 ERA now, and in his last 5 starts he's only gone over 5 innings once. I remember a guy where I used to wonder if he would ever pitch into the 7th inning, and his name was Tommy Hanson. Blair seems to have both mechanical and mental issues that are keeping him from being successful, but he's learning on the job at the MLB level and that's frustrating. His last outing was okay with only 2 earned runs against SD, and Cincinnati is no tougher test so I expect him to be successful.
Julio Teheran has found his stride and seems to have no other issues than run support and solo homers. Julio hasn't given up more than 3 earned runs since 10 games ago on April 14th against the Nationals. Right now, he's mowing down lineups and putting the Braves in a position to win. Bud Norris has oddly found a second gear, and he's acting more like Julio every day. Bud hasn't given up more than a run in any of his games since April 27th against Boston. With Wisler on the skids, these two men make up the best 1-2 punch we have right now, which is hilarious and sort of depressing. Whatever is wrong with Wisler, he needs to fix it against the Reds. They are nowhere near as good as the Dodgers or Cubs, so Matt needs to get his mind right in the final game and get back on the beam.
As for the Reds pitchers here are the stats:
Daniel Wright - 7.20 ERA, 2.00 WHIP
Brandon Finnegan - 3.77 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
Anthony DeSclafani - 1.50 ERA, 1.83 WHIP
Dan Straily - 3.15 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
Several things jump out at me here. First off, in the opening game we're going to have two rookie starters with ERAs over 7.00, so God help us all. That game may be 12-11 or 8-1 at the end, so I have no idea what to expect. The middle games are going to be the best pitching matchups, and I think Finnegan is the harder of the two. I think that because the Braves have never seen Finnegan and his major weakness is homers, which is something the Braves can't do consistently. We've struggled against those types of pitchers all year, and he's a lefty. DeSclafani hasn't pitched but one game this year so don't let the ERA fool you. When the Braves have seen him though, they are hitting .310 off him, so I like our chances there. The Braves are also hitting .375 off Straily, so you would hope they could score some runs at home this series.
CPA Predicted a Cubs sweep, the Braves won a game, so it went 2-1. It's 28-28 on the season now, BOOYAH! Let's see how this goes with a 4-gamer.
Game 1 - Cincy by 1
Game 2 - Braves by 1
Game 3 - Cincy by 3
Game 4 - Cincy by 2
Yeeeeeeeah, that's not good. I don't want to win just one game at home against the Reds. I want at least two. Go win those two Braves.