The Atlanta Braves look to apply more of a stranglehold on the NL East on Saturday. They inched closer to clinching with a win last night, as they downed the Chicago White Sox by a score of 10-7. The Braves built up a 5-0 lead but allowed the White Sox to get back into the game with a 4-run 7th inning. The offense was able to respond and notch a 10-7 win for the Braves.
Atlanta can win with their pitching or offense. They are fully capable of getting into low-scoring grind it out games, or what we saw last night with 17 runs on the board. The Braves have several guys in their lineup who can rake. Last night it was Tyler Flowers who led the team with 3 RBI’s. Their offensive output can come from anywhere in the lineup.
The Braves are hearing faint footsteps behind them, which belong to the Washington Nationals. But it’s going to take a collapse in September by the Braves. As a new day passes, their comeback effort is going to become a bit more difficult.
The Braves currently own a 5.5-game lead over the Nats with a record of 82-54. They advanced to 40-27 at home last night. They’re a dangerous team on the road at 42-27 so teams are going to have to be aware in the postseason.
The White Sox fell to 60-74 last night, as they continue to plan for the future in the AL Central. They are not there yet by a long shot, but there’s reason to be excited about the future. The Braves want to win now, though. Dallas Keuchel will be called on Saturday. Reynaldo Lopez is expected to get the call on the other side. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Braves pick.
Chicago White Sox vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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It took a minute for Keuchel to find his elite stroke, but he’s been pitching like it recently for the Braves. Keuchel waited out for a more lucrative contract and found what he wanted with the Braves. It may prove to be an excellent move by Keuchel, as he heats up at the perfect time in the season.
He has allowed just 1-run in his last three games, which goes across 19 innings of play. That equates to an excellent 0.47 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in his previous three contests. His only mistake was a solo shot yielded to the Marlins.
Other than that, Keuchel has been locked in. His best work has come at home in Atlanta. Keuchel has been on point with a 2.29 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 39.1 innings at home. The road has been iffy for him, with a 5.26 ERA and 1.65 WHIP, but he will have the benefit of playing at SunTrust Park on Saturday.
Lopez will have a tricky task on his hands in this one. He is coming off a stellar performance, but has still struggled a bit with an ERA of 4.41 in his last three outings. His numbers have been shaky on the road, as he hopes to improve on a 5.48 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 70.2 innings work on the road.
In his previous 11.1 innings away from home, Lopez has allowed 8 earned runs and 15 hits. He hasn’t allowed less than 3 runs on the road since July 19th against the Rays. At even money, the Braves look like a solid play on the runline Saturday.