Braves vs. Nationals - Series Preview

So there really isn't anything new with the Nationals. They continue to be bad, and have lost 7 out of 10. They foolishly didn't trade Dunn nor Willingham at the trade deadline, even though they could've gotten a boatload of young talent for either guy. They did trade away Matt Capps, but he was over-performing anyways. Wilson Ramos could be good in a few seasons, but he doesn't really play as of right now.

Oh, and they still have Rob Dibble. Damn.

There are quite a few big stories for the Braves during the serious though. On Tuesday, Mike Minor will make his 2nd start of his big league career. In case you missed his debut, don't let the numbers fool you for one second. Minor looked very good and composed on the mound, and the Astros just got ridiculously lucky with four bloop hits. To be honest, they only hit one ball hard the entire night. I know I'm really looking forward to seeing Mike make another start.

Another big story is the return of Martin Prado. Now it's not official, but reports have Martin ready to come off the DL as early as Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 in his rehab assignment on Monday, and I'm guessing he'll be playing 3rd base when he returns.*

*This is assuming Frank Wren doesn't turn Braves Country into a frenzy with the acquisition of an over-paid veteran like Aramis Ramirez. If this really happens, well, maybe Frank Wren isn't the man to lead this franchise.

Anyways, let's get onto the Nats stats:

Offense:

Runs: 477 (14th)
BA: .255 (11th)
OBP: .321 (13th)
SLG: .400 (10th)
HR: 112 (9th)
SB: 88 (3rd)
BB/K:
0.41 (12th)

You know the Nats. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham are all very good. Nyjer Morgan is fast, but that's about it. Ian Desmond kills the Braves. Pudge is a solid catcher, but has fallen off since the 1st half. And they don't have much besides that. With the way our starters have been pitching, I'm not really too worried about the series.

Much more after the jump...

Starting Pitching:

ERA: 4.50 (14th)
FIP: 4.29 (12th)
xFIP: 4.49 (14th)
BAA: .282 (15th)
K/9: 5.56 (15th)
BB/9: 3.06 (5th)
WHIP:
1.45 (14th)

So yeah, they're still not very good and the Braves will miss Strasburg in the series. The Braves will see Scott Olsen in game 1, and it seems like he always dominates us. The truth is that Olsen really isn't all that great, and something has to give eventually. The ageless Livan Hernandez will pitch in the 2nd game and he's been pretty good this season. John Lannan will pitch in the finale, and he'll tear the Braves up...if we're not patient. That shouldn't be a problem though, and I think the Braves match up favorably in every game.

Relief Pitching:

ERA: 3.58 (4th); 
FIP: 3.80 (5th)
xFIP: 4.18 (5th)
BAA: .246 (4th)
K/9: 8.17 (7th)
BB/9: 3.71 (5th)
WHIP:
1.33 (5th)

Now keep in mind that Matt Capps' numbers are inflating these stats a bit, but the Nats have still been a very solid bunch coming out of the bullpen. Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett and closer Drew Storen are all very good and will anchor the bullpen for at least a few seasons. Guys like Joel Peralta and LOOGY Doug Slaten have also been solid for the Nats, and we all saw long-man Miguel Batista dominate the Braves in his spot-start against us a few weeks ago. After having the worst 'pen in the league for a while, you really have to tip your cap to the Nationals for putting together a strong bullpen. It should be good for quite a while.

Pitching Match-Ups:

Tuesday, 7:10EST.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Scott Olsen 3-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 56.1 65 34 32 7 19 37 5.11 1.49
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Mike Minor 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 5 4 3 0 1 5 4.50 1.00

Wednesday, 7:10EST.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Livan Hernandez 8-8 26 24 2 1 0 0 157.2 149 57 54 10 48 83 3.08 1.25
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Tim Hudson 14-5 25 24 1 0 0 0 164.2 123 40 39 10 54 89 2.13 1.07


Thursday, 1:05EST.

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - John Lannan 4-5 17 17 0 0 0 0 93.0 120 61 54 8 39 34 5.23 1.71
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Derek Lowe 11-10 26 25 0 0 0 0 147.0 155 72 70 13 53 93 4.29 1.41


In my opinion, this is a must-win series for the Braves, and a sweep certainly isn't out of the question. We'll be getting a big boost with the return of Martin Prado, and the Braves have ben un-real at home. We're a very good team, and the Nationals aren't. Combine this with the Phillies having a very tough series against the Giants, and we could really use these next few days to put some room between us and Philly.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Talking Chop

You must be a member of Talking Chop to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Talking Chop. You should read them.

Join Talking Chop

You must be a member of Talking Chop to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Talking Chop. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker