The Atlanta Braves broke out of a mini slump they’ve been on yesterday with a 5-3 win over the Pirates. The Braves were previously on a three-game losing streak before they picked up a win Saturday. It provided the Phillies with some hope that they can win the NL East. It will take some good baseball from the Phillies and they’ll need to the Braves to falter. The Phillies took a 7-1 blowout loss yesterday by the Cubs, so they dropped back with the loss.
They’re still within reach, though, with a 3-game deficit heading into the final game of the weekend. There is time left, but there isn’t much time left to fool around and let the bats go cold. Atlanta were fortunate enough to get a big 8th inning out of their offense to secure a 5-3 win Saturday. They scored 4 runs to complete the comeback. And hopefully with that, it kickstarts the Braves’ offense going into a new week.
The Braves moved to 75-60 with the victory on Saturday, while the Pirates slipped to 66-70. The Pirates acquired Chris Archer at the deadline, which was a bit of a head scratcher considering the position they were in. They weren’t completely out of the picture at that point, but Archer was not going to be the answer to put them over the top.
He could have been a nice asset for a team who wanted to beef up their rotation as a luxury item. The Pirates were not in that position, though, so I can’t say, bringing what I believe to be an average pitcher, on an overinflated contract to Pittsburgh made sense. Rookie Nick Kingham is slated to start for the Pirates in this one. Atlanta will respond with veteran Julio Teheran on Sunday. Head below for the rest of our writeup and our free Pirates vs. Braves pick.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves Pick
Nick Kingham (5-6, 4.92 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (9-7, 4.18 ERA)
The Pirates have given Nick Kingham spot starts this season to see what stuff the rookie has. Overall, it hasn’t been the best debut for Kingham in 2018. However, with a 4.92 ERA as a rookie, that’s certainly the type of number you will see often with rookies in the major leagues. It isn’t a prelude to what is to come in most cases. The Pirates will expect to see improvements from Kingham next season. He was moved to the bullpen after a few poor starts in a row.
So, it’s a big start for Kingham on the road, as he gets to show that he should be in the rotation. He allowed 7 hits and 6 runs to the Mets in 3 innings and 3 hits and 2 earned runs against the Cubs before sitting in the bullpen. Kingham enters Sunday with an ERA of 8.71, 2.03 WHIP, and .407 OBA in his last three appearances. He holds a 5.28 ERA and 1.24 WHIP on the road in his rookie campaign.
Teheran has been a workhorse for the Braves in his eight-year career. While we’ve seen those eight years act as somewhat of a yo-yo, Teheran has been usually on the Braves good side. He has been serviceable with an ERA of 4.18 and 1.18 WHIP this year. Teheran goes into this matchup with a 3.20 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in his last three. In 105 at-bats, the Pirates have gone long against Teheran just once, belonging to Adam Frazier. The Braves should be able to beat up on the rookie Sunday and get a win to take two of three against the Pirates.