So, how we doing out there? Feeling peppy? No? Really? Yeah, me neither. It’s been pretty rough lately for our Reds, and a trip to Atlanta doesn’t really seem like a good cure, does it? But there’s some good news. The Braves have been scuffling much like the Reds. Over their last 32 games, they are 15-17. That’s not real good. So what’s going on?
C – Brian McCann* .294/.371/.518
1B – Freddie Freeman*.307/.388/.470
2B – Dan Uggla .203/.323/.417
SS – Andrelton Simmons .245/.282/.346
3B – Chris Johnson .335/.377/.484
LF – Justin Upton .248/.349/.457
CF – B.J. Upton .179/.269/.304
RF – Jason Heyward*.225/.323/.369
So, you think the Reds have some lineup holes? Meet the Atlanta Braves. What’s worse, it’s actually a little worse than it looks as Justin Upton hasn’t hit at all for quite sometime. His hot start is why his numbers are still solid.
That lineup also strikes out a lot and it would not be surprising if the Reds pitchers gave them fits in this series. Now, onto the matchups…
Thursday: Tim Hudson (5-7, 4.03) vs. Mat Latos (8-2, 3.18)
Friday: Kris Medlen (6-8, 3.45) vs. Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 3.55)
Saturday: Mike Minor (8-4, 3.05) vs. Homer Bailey (5-7, 3.70)
Sunday: Julio Teheran (7-4, 3.09) vs. Tony Cingrani (3-1 3.30)
Those are some really good match ups. The Braves and Reds rank 2nd and 4th respectively in the NL in ERA and it would not be surprising if this was a low scoring series. Just staring at the numbers, it’s very easy to imagine a split. Ironically, Reds and Braves fans would probably both be happy with that given how things have gone for each team lately.
In Craig Kimbrel, the Braves effectively have Aroldis Chapman with a less interesting back story. The bullpen as a whole is very solid, but there are weak spots and if the Braves are forced to use a lot of relievers, it good get interesting. Overall, it looks to me like the bullpens are pretty even, especially looking at the peripherals.
Both teams are struggling. They have good pitching and okay hitting. Their records are nearly identical. This should be interesting to watch. I expect we’re in for some good close games.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.