Braves @ Cubs Series Preview
Game 1: Friday @ 2:20, Wrigley Field
Projected Starters: Anibal Sanchez(ATL), 0-0 2.25 ERA
Yu Darvish(CHI), 0-0 5.23 ERA
Game 2: Saturday @ 2:20, Wrigley Field
Projected Starters: Sean Newcomb(ATL), 1-1 4.35 ERA
Jose Quintana(CHI), 1-1 4.50 ERA
Game 3: Sunday @ 2:20, Wrigley Field
Projected Starters: Julio Teheran(ATL), 0-1 7.07 ERA
Tyler Chatwood(CHI), 0-2 4.91 ERA
The Braves are coming off their first series loss of the season, dropping two out of three to the Nationals. Going into the series leading the MLB in runs scored, the Braves tallied just six runs in the whole series against the Nationals. It was certainly a rough series but the pitching was great again. Now, the attention turns to the offense to see if they can get back rolling this series.
To begin with, Preston Tucker was thought to be just a two-week starter until Acuna got called up. However, Tucker has played his way into making the Braves wonder if Acuna being called up Monday (the day he would be able to come up and gain the Braves gain the extra year of control) is the right move.
Acuna has started out of the gates slow in AAA, batting just .105 with no HR or RBIs. Now he started off the same way in Spring Training and he ended up being one of the best players at Spring Training. For such a small sample size in AAA this season, even with the poor performances, I don’t see why the idea of calling him up Monday would change.
Going into this series, the Braves bullpen has continued to be one of the best in the MLB. On the other hand, the starting pitching has had its ups and downs but was solid in the last series. The man guy who will need to step up now and for the future will be Anibal Sanchez. With the injury to Brandon McCarthy and Luiz Gohara not back yet, Sanchez will have the chance to pitch his way into the season long rotation if he can continue to put together quality starts.
Friday will mark the first time the Braves will have ever faced Yu Darvish, who signed a who huge six-year $126 million contract this offseason. Darvish hasn’t looked relatively sharp in his first couple of starts with his new ballclub and the Braves will hope to add to Darvish’s struggles.
Series Prediction: Braves win the series 2-1
Bold Prediction: Braves put up 10+ runs in Game 1.
Bret Anderson: @Bret_A27
ATL Sports HQ: @ATLSportsHQ
Braves Affiliate: @ChopUpChopDown