Saturday was a familiar scene at SunTrust Park between the Chicago White Sox. A day after defeating the White Sox, 10-7, the Braves won in similar fashion with another impressive showing by the bats at the plate. The Braves got into double digits again, as they touched the White Sox up for 11 runs in a 11-5 win. They got started early against Reynaldo Lopez, as he couldn’t escape the 1st inning after getting rattled for 6 hits and 6 earned runs.
Lopez recorded just 2 outs before getting pulled off the hill, setting up a long night for the White Sox. Dallas Keuchel allowed a run in the 1st, but ultimately settled in and left with just 2 earned runs on his resume Saturday. The White Sox made it slightly interesting in the top of the 7th after tacking on 3 runs to make it a 7-5 game. However, just like when the White Sox were threatening Friday night, the Braves responded and pulled away minutes later in the bottom half.
The White Sox loss was their fifth in a row and sixth loss in seven games. It doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the White Sox are hoping to finish the regular season strong, with their eyes set on upsetting the Twins and Indians in the AL Central next year. They seem to be at least two or three years off from accomplishing that. If the White Sox can improve their starting rotation significantly in the offseason, then maybe they can speed the process up.
As their rotation is now, Lucas Giolito is the only member of the rotation who can be trusted. Reynaldo Lopez is the No. 2 on the depth chart, but he didn’t look like it last night. Ivan Nova appears to be the next best option they have behind Giolio, so yeah, improvements must be made. Dylan Cease will be counted on to develop into a reliable option next season. Giolito will get the nod Sunday against Julio Teheran of the Braves. Head below for our free White Sox vs. Braves pick.
Chicago White Sox vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
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Lucas Giolito did all he could against the Twins in his most recent effort, though it wasn’t enough in a 3-1 loss. Being the standout pitcher on a bad team can be frustrating at times. It isn’t like Giolito can be out there pitching everyday, so he will have to wait on the front office to get him help. He finished with 4 hits and 2 earned runs allowed in 6 innings of work. Two deep balls did him in, but they weren’t winning with just 1-run from the offense. Giolito enters Sunday with an ERA of 1.71 and 0.90 WHIP in his previous three contests.
That looks really nice, but Giolito is running into a red-hot Atlanta offense on the road in this one. The Braves haven’t cared much about who is across from them on the bump, they’ve been able to hit pretty well everyone thrown their way. In their last three games, the Braves have scored 30 runs for an average of 10 per game. I’d like to say everyone is well aware of how dangerous the Atlanta offense is, but they’ve been playing under the radar, as the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees get all of the attention.
The Braves’ offense will likely be backed by solid support from Teheran on Sunday evening. After allowed 6 runs against the Mets, Teheran has been on fire with no runs allowed in 13 innings. When Teheran is feeling it, he can be a tough pitcher to knock off his path. He’s been tough to hit long balls against at home.
Teheran has allowed just 6 home runs in 69 innings at SunTrust. He also carries a 3.00 ERA into today against the White Sox. This looks like an even pitching matchup between Giolito and Teheran, but the Braves hold a sizable advantage offensively and they’re on fire. Look for the Braves to head into the new week with a sweep of the White Sox under their belt.