Game Thread 7/3: Marlins at Braves

Kevin C. Cox

Maybe.

1. Andrelton Simmons - SS
2. Jason Heyward - RF
3. Justin Upton - LF
4. Freddie Freeman - 1B
5. Brian McCann - C
6. Dan Uggla - 2B
7. B.J. Upton - CF
8. Chris Johnson - 3B
9. Mike Minor - P

Things are apparently looking a little rainy for tonight's game, and they apparently don't look much better for tomorrow's game. With so many games left against the Marlins, there's plenty of opportunities to reschedule one of these games, but two becomes quite a bit more difficult. With tomorrow being Independence Day, expect a quicker resolution to the Play vs. Postpone question, but tomorrow's game, considering all the people likely to attend, will probably be played unless the conditions are just that bad.

Ricky Nolasco

Nolasco_medium

Scouting Report: Ricky Nolasco doesn't throw particularly hard - averaging about 91 mph - but he remains an effective pitcher due to the depth in his arsenal. Nolasco will stick with mainly the fastball-slider combo, but he'll add in a curveball more than occasionally. When lefties are up, the righty will use a splitter instead of a change-up as his change-of-pace pitch. RHH will mainly see fastball-slider, but LHH will get the kitchen sink. Nolasco throws strikes, so the Braves can be a bit more aggressive tonight.

Analysis: Nolasco is the classic Breaking FIP pitcher. His K rate of 19% is a bit below-average, but his BB rate of 5% is well above-average. Nolasco is not a sinkerball pitcher, but he will also keep the ball on the ground (GB/FBs over 1.20 to 1.45 the last few years) while not surrendering a lot of home runs. So the question becomes why his career ERA (4.45) is so much higher than his career FIP (3.81). His BABIP (.308) and LOB% (69%) are a bit off the usual marks, but it's not enough to shift his ERA up that much. Either he's really bad about sequencing - ie. giving up home runs only when people are on - he's not - or his defense has been really bad all these years - more likely. Or maybe something else screwy is going on.

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