Rich Schultz - Getty Images
With Atlanta's magic number sitting at one, the Braves welcome Miami to town for a three game series. Tonight also marks the beginning of Chipper Jones' final regular season homestand as an Atlanta Brave. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming series against Miami Marlins.
The Marlins enter the series at 66-87, with a pretty solid lock on last place in the National League East. There is also some turmoil involving Ozzie Guillen's job status (shocking), and the announcement that the team will lower payroll next season (also shocking).
As a team, the Marlins are tied for 13th in the National League in batting average (.245), 13th in on-base average (.309), 12th in slugging percentage (.384), 12 in wOBA (.303), 13th in wRC+ (88), and 14th in offensive fWAR (17.4).
So, as you can see, they're struggling mightily with the bat.
Individually, everything starts with Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton, who has battled injuries all season long, is most likely going to miss the series with an oblique injury. On the year, he's hitting .283/.354/.595 with a .397 wOBA and a 152 wRC+.
Jose Reyes is having a solid season, with a wRC+ of 112 and a triple slash line of .285/.346/.433. He has 36 stolen bases on the year as well. Justin Ruggiano has been crushing the ball in his 91 games played, sporting a .313/.374/.535 slash line with a .387 wOBA and 145 wRC+.
Bryan Petersen has been hitting lead-off against right-handers lately, so expect him at the top of the lineup tonight. Peterson enters at at a lowly .199/.281/.257. When Peterson isn't leading off, our old friend Gorkys Hernandez has been taking that spot. He's hitting just a little better, at .206/.289/.324 with a .281 wOBA and 73 wRC+.
At second base, Donovan Solano has been the guy of late. In 280 plate appearances, Solano sits at .291/.339/.335 with a .310 wOBA and 93 wRC+.
Pitching match ups after the jump.
Tuesday September 25th, 7:10 PM ET
In his last outing, Nathan Eovaldi held Atlanta scoreless over eight innings while allowing just four hits and striking out five. Tonight, the Braves get another shot at the hard throwing right-hander.
Eovaldi enters at 4-12 with a 4.36 ERA, 4.46 FIP, and 4.80 xFIP. He's striking out just over five per nine innings, and walking slightly under four batter per nine. Eovaldi has a strikeout rate of 13.2 percent, while sporting a walk rate of 9.2 percent. He also gets a solid ground-ball rate at almost 46 percent.
In terms of stuff, Eovaldi surely isn't lacking in that department. He throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seamer, a pretty good slider, and the occasional curve and change.
His four-seam fastball averages just under 95 miles per hour velocity wise, and has a whiff/swing rate of almost 19 percent and a GB/BIP rate of 47 percent so far this year.
Eovaldi's best off-speed offering is a plus slider that he uses 38 percent of the time with two strikes against left-handed hitters, and really in any count against right-handed hitters.
He throws it 20 percent of the time overall, and the pitch has a 11.70 percent whiff rate, a 23.46 whiff/swing rate, and a 48.57 GB/BIP rate. It's a pretty solid offering. With his other off-speed offerings, Eovalidi throws his curve nine percent of the time and the change six percent of the time.
He does like to use the curve first pitch against lefties at an 18 percent rate.
Wednesday September 27th, 7:10 PM ET
In his last outing, Johnson allowed five hits and three runs in six innings of work while striking out five and walking three. Overall on the year, he has a 3.84 ERA, 3.35 FIP, and 3.70 xFIP to go along with a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate and a 8.1 percent HR/FB rate.
Johnson is striking out almost eight batters per nine innings, while walking just under three per nine. He has a 20.5 percent strikeout rate and a 7.8 percent walk rate on the season.
Looking at his arsenal, Johnson mainly throws a four-seam fastball, slider, and curve, while mixing in an occasional two-seam and change.
His four-seamer has an average velocity of over 93 miles per hour, and is thrown 51 percent of the time overall. The pitch has a 5.2 percent whiff rate, a 11.92 whiff/swing rate, and a 39 percent GB/BIP rate.
Johnson throws his slider 25 percent of the time, and it's a very effective offering. Averaging a velocity of almost 88 miles per hour, the pitch has a huge 21.26 percent whiff rate on it. It also has a 40 percent whiff/swing rate and a 51 percent GB/BIP rate.
The curve is his slowest offering, averaging just under 80 miles per hour velocity wise. It has the second best whiff rate of any of his pitches at 13.54 percent, and also has a big 39 percent whiff/swing rate to pair with a 51 percent ground ball rate.
Thursday September 27th, 7:10 PM ET
In his last outing, the Mets tagged Turner for eight hits and six runs (three earned) in five innings of work. He struck out three and walked one, not a terrible performance at all but was the subject of bad Miami defense.
On the year, the former Detroit Tiger has an ERA of 5.23, a 5.43 FIP, and a 4.37 xFIP along with a 45.7 percent ground-ball rate and a 18 percent HR/FB rate.
A hard-thrower in the minors, that velocity hasn't carried over to the majors as he averages 92 miles per hour on his fastball. He also throws a two-seam, cutter, slider, curve, and a change, so it's a deep arsenal.
He throws the slider and curve both 17 percent of the time while tossing the change 11 percent of the time. The two offerings are his best swing and miss pitches, with the slider holding a 15 percent whiff rate and a 30 percent whiff/swing rate. His curve has an even bigger 21 percent whiff rate and a 40 percent whiff/swing rate.
While he doesn't throw it a ton, Turner's cutter has a 59 percent GB/BIP rate on it.
***Pitch data comes from www.brooksbaseball.net.***