Series Preview: Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

USA TODAY Sports

The Braves will look to exact some revenge on the Pirates in a three-game series at Turner Field this week. The last time these two met earlier this season, Atlanta lost three of four in Pittsburgh to a Pirates team that currently possesses a share of the second-best record in the NL.

Winners of 10 of their last 14, the Pirates get the job done by pitching: their staff ERA of 3.15 is second in the NL only to St. Louis. Their offense has scored just 214 runs, as many as the 22-32 Mets (who, as an aside, got swept by the Marlins). Leading the rotation is, to some surprise, Jeff Locke. The 25-year-old lefty enters the series having tossed 19.2 consecutive scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts, and is fifth in the NL with a 2.25 ERA; however, he has an FIP of 4.13. Locke also has the highest LOB% of Pittsburgh's starters at 85.9%. Atlanta knocked three home runs against Locke in his start April 18, but received a no-decision.

A.J. Burnett, Monday's starter, and Kris Medlen have something in common in that they've both received poor run support. Despite a 2.72 ERA and the Pirates winning his last start, Burnett lost three decisions in a row (four starts) because the offense behind him scored a total of five runs in that stretch, so it's no surprise to see Burnett with the fifth-lowest run support of all qualified starters in MLB (2.67); Medlen is tied for seventh (2.82).

Pittsburgh's other starter in this series, Wandy Rodriguez, suffered a loss in his start after earning a win in each of his last four outings. He shut out the Braves on just one hit over seven innings in his April 19 start. Atlanta may be able to get to Rodriguez this time around, as he has not pitched as well in road games as he has at home: a 5.96 ERA and a .306 opponent batting average has Rodriguez in five starts away from Pittsburgh.

For the offense, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen have been the two best hitters for the Pirates, hitting .287 and .284 respectively. Marte, though, has just two hits in his last 19 at-bats. McCutchen was held to just two hits in three games against Cincinnati, both in the series finale. Marte and McCutchen also have 29 of the team's 37 stolen bases; Marte's 15 steals are tied for second in the NL.

Pedro Alvarez has been the team's top run producer and power threat: his 11 home runs and 30 RBI lead the Pirates despite a .199 batting average and .262 OBP. Garrett Jones, though, can provide quite a bit of pop as well. He has but six home runs, but his last one was a game-tying, 440-ft. bomb that dropped in the river beyond right field (video here).

One other note is that among their last 10 wins, four of them have been by a 1-0 score.

Monday, June 3, 7:10 p.m. ET

Kris Medlen

#54 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

5-10

190

B

R

Oct 07, 1985

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Kris Medlen 1-6 3.48 1.36 48 24

A.J. Burnett

#34 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates

6-4

230

R

R

Jan 03, 1977

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - A.J. Burnett 3-5 2.72 1.09 89 29


Tuesday, June 4, 7:10 p.m. ET

Mike Minor

#36 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-4

205

R

L

Dec 26, 1987

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Mike Minor 7-2 2.48 0.92 66 14

Jeff Locke

#49 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates

6-0

185

L

L

Nov 20, 1987

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Jeff Locke 5-1 2.25 1.17 42 26

Wednesday, June 5, 12:10 p.m. ET

Julio Teheran

#49 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-2

175

R

R

Jan 27, 1991

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Julio Teheran 3-2 3.71 1.32 44 13

Wandy Rodriguez

#51 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates

5-10

195

B

L

Jan 18, 1979

W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2013 - Wandy Rodriguez 6-3 3.47 1.09 46 12
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,

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

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