It was a wild one between the Atlanta Braves and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night. Down to their final out and down by a run, the D-Backs got a deep shot by Paul Goldschmidt to tie things up. That probably should have been the winning run for Arizona, but the Diamondbacks’ bullpen failed to keep the game in order late. It was up to the offense to claw back and force extra innings. The bullpen couldn’t hold up again, as the Braves tacked on a run off a wild pitch to go ahead for good in extras.
It was a brutal loss for the Diamondbacks, who might look back at that one that got away. Nevertheless, they were able to forget about the hard loss and captured a 5-3 victory last night. It was a win that the Diamondbacks needed, as they trail by 1.5 games in the NL West. They must overcome the Rockies and Dodgers to get in the postseason with the NL West crown.
The Diamondbacks are currently closer to winning the division than getting a wildcard. They have the Dodgers and Cardinals ahead of them if they want to go that route. The Dodgers beat the Rockies on Friday night, 4-2, while the Cards took a bad loss against the Tigers. Meanwhile, the Braves are holding on to a 2.5-game lead in the NL East.
The Phillies got a go-ahead bomb by Rhys Hoskins in the 8th inning to get a 4-3 win. They get a game closer thanks to the Braves loss tonight. They’ll look to bounce back with Julio Teheran on the mound. The Diamondbacks will go with comeback pitcher of the year, Clay Buchholz, to try and get two in a row. Head below for our free Braves vs. Diamondbacks pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Pick
Julio Teheran (9-7, 4.05 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.05 ERA)
This is a time of the year where the pitching has to come up big. It usually goes back to the bullpen and which team can keep it together late. We seen last night several tight contests, with the better bullpen ultimately winning out. As a starter, Julio Teheran has been doing his part recently. He’s coming off a dominant performance over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as they had trouble hitting Teheran for 7 innings.
Teheran held them to 4 hits and 1 run in a 5-1 win for the Braves. That was the third time in his last five outings that he held opposing teams to 1 run. In four of his last five starts, he’s surrendered 2 or less runs. Overall in his previous three starts, Teheran posted a 2.75 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. Note that the Diamondbacks have done nothing against Teheran in 89 at-bats. They are hitting just .157 with only 1 long ball, which came from Goldschimdt, naturally.
He will have to do better than the red-hot Clay Buchholz. The former Red Sox hurler has been on fire in 2018. He enters almost untouched in his last three starts, with an impressive 0.47 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and .264 OBA. In his previous seven outings, he owns a 1.74 ERA 1.07 WHIP. Buchholz hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs since July 29th, seven starts ago.
In 119 at-bats, no one on the Braves has been able to take Buchholz deep. We haven’t seen him pitch this well since he had a 1.74 ERA in 2013 with the Red Sox, and that was just over 16 starts. He will match that with his 16th start in 2018 tonight. I’d lean towards a dual in the desert between Teheran and Buchholz, so I’d go with the UNDER in what is another big matchup in Arizona.