The Braves (6-9) come home from their long road trip to square off against the Dodgers (7-8) in a matchup that will bring Andruw Jones back to Atlanta for the first time in an opposing uniform. The Braves are looking to carry some offensive momentum from last night’s thrashing of the Marlins back into Turner Field and hopefully get a little bit of a win streak going.
Friday: Jeff Bennett (0-0, 5.52, RHP) vs. Derek Lowe (1-0, 1.80, RHP)
This is looking to be much more of an offensive outing than a pitching matchup. Bennett is either on or he’s off; there’s no real middle ground for him. He’s gotten into a little trouble in long relief this season, but I think he’ll serve well in his role as a spot starter. Of course, with how fast our pitchers are falling, our spot starters will be our entire rotation soon.
Saturday: Tom Glavine (0-1, 2.38, LHP) vs. Chad Billingsley (0-2, 5.59, RHP)
Glavine is still a little bit of a cause for worry after leaving his last start without recording an out. He had a pitching session on Wednesday and said he feels good enough to go on Saturday and avoid a trip to the disabled list. I’m still a little worried about this and don’t want him to hurt himself any worse than he already is. Who knows, I could just be being to precautionary on this one. On the bright side, he faces off against Chad Billingsley who has struggled to find control so far this season.
Sunday: Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 3.93, RHP) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (1-1, 2.89, RHP)
Jurrjens had a hard time getting the ball over the plate in his last outing, throwing only about half of his pitches for strikes. He still managed, however, to only give up 2 earned runs. Unfortunately, the offense provided little support for him and he earned the loss. His record isn’t exactly telling of how well he has been throwing the ball this season, so I’m looking for another strong outing out of JJ.
The Braves’ offense continues to be streaky at best. I’ve said it too many times in the past week or so, but when we’re up in a game, the offense is on and can keep laying it on. Last night is a prime example with 15 hits and five home runs. However, in clutch situations, the offense is just flat. In the rare occurances that we’re getting runners on base with less than two outs, we’re stranding them or hitting into double plays.
The Dodgers are second in the NL with a team batting average of .275; the Braves are third with a .274. In the same number of games however, the Braves have plated 10 more runs (80-70) and have 10 more home runs (21-11). It should be a good matchup to watch.
On the strength of coming home from the long road trip and finally being back in front of the home crowd for motivation, I’m giving this one to the Braves 2-1.
Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers, Series Preview
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