The Atlanta Braves fortunately had the day off yesterday to pick up the pieces after struggling against the Washington Nationals for a couple of days. They lost a close one, 5-4, and then got blasted by a score of 14-4 the next day. Kevin Gausman lasted just 1 inning, having to exit with 8 hits and 8 runs allowed before getting 3 outs. The Braves were out of the game before they were allowed to take an at-bat.
That is a difficult position to put an offense in. The Phillies were losers yesterday so their lead stays at 3 games in the NL East. Atlanta are within striking distance, but they are going to have to be better than a 30-26 team to win the division.
They were fortunate that they didn’t have to deal with Bryce Harper in Philadelphia last season, but he’s on a better team this season and the Braves are not going to be able to put things on cruise control in 2019. Atlanta beat the Nationals by 8 games to secure the NL East a season ago. It’s not going to be nearly as easy this time around.
In any case, the Braves won four of their last five games before the Nationals put an end to that small run. They are going to need somebody other than Mike Soroka and Max Fried to get it together on the bump. Everyone is looking at Mike Foltynewicz to be the other guy to contribute for the Braves.
He was spectacular last season and has been having difficulties getting back on that track in 2019. Foltynewicz looked fantastic against the Cardinals in his last outing, so we’ll see if he is turning a corner. Foltynewicz gets the nod against the Tigers tonight. Detroit will look to rookie Spencer Turnbull who was recently away from the team because of a death in the family. Back to work at SunTrust Park for Turnbull. Head below for our free Tigers vs. Braves pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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A slow start has impacted Foltynewicz this season after dazzling in 2018. He came out of the shadows to lead the Braves to the top of the NL East last season. Foltynewicz finished with an ERA of 2.85 for a career-high in his six-year career. However, he is looking at an ERA of 5.67 going into tonight, though has beginning to show signs of shaking off the rust of the offseason.
After getting hammered for 8 runs against the Cardinals, Foltynewicz has responded in each of his two starts since that disaster. He allowed 3 hits and 2 runs against the Brewers in 6 innings and then didn’t allowed an earned run against the Cardinals in his revenge game. He is responsible for just 2 runs in his last 12 innings of work.
He should be able to handle this Tigers’ lineup tonight. It is another opportunity for him to get his confidence back. Note that the Tigers 29th in the major leagues with 3.42 runs scored per game. The Marlins are the only team in the majors who are worst at scoring runs. They’ve won their last two games, but that came against the Orioles and it wasn’t because the offense was spectacular.
Spencer Turnbull has been having a solid rookie season, but like most rookies, he has had his moments where it’s been a learning process. He in the midst of his worst stretch of the year having allowed 7 runs in his previous 12 innings. Turnbull heads into Atlanta with a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his last three outings.
He has been a quality pitcher for the Tigers thus far, but we should expect to see some variance like he had against the Mets in his most recent showing. Conversely, expect to see Foltynewicz continue to put his season back together with a solid effort against Detroit here. After a rough time in Washington, the Braves are likely to return home to a win against the Tigers on Friday.