The Red Sox come to Atlanta losers of 10 straight games. On one end, that's good for the Braves as they get to face a reeling team that will have to play its designated hitter (David Ortiz) at first base this week. On another, the Red Sox are a better team than this, given that a similar squad won the World Series last year, and they can break out of the 10 game losing streak and win 10 themselves in a relative heartbeat.
This is actually just a two game home series, but the Braves will travel up to Boston to play two at Fenway later this week to complete a home-and-home matchup. This seems to be a common thing this year, as I have noticed the Yankees and Mets having similar series earlier this season. It seems like a cool idea, and I like the thought of getting guys some rest at DH on Wednesday and Thursday.
On the mound
Boston is coming at the Braves with their best starters while the Red Sox are fortunate to miss Julio Teheran, the ace of the Braves' staff. Jon Lester and John Lackey have been great this year, while Jake Peavy and Clay Buchholz have struggled. Buchholz and Lester will start in Atlanta while Lackey and Peavy will be at home.
At the plate
The Sox are both injured and underperforming. Recently, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino hit the disabled list, while they have shuffled their third base situation around a multitude of times. Xander Boegartz and Ortiz have been their best bats this season, while former MVP Dustin Pedroia has been exactly league average with a 100 wRC+. His power seems to be in somewhat of a decline, but he is still a heck of a ballplayer.
In the bullpen
Koji Uehara is an elite level closer, so I would not count on any ninth inning comebacks -- though of course its a possibility. The set up men handing the game to Junichi Tazawa from the right side and Andrew Miller from the left side, both of whom have been impressive this season. The bullpen is a strong bunch, especially from the left side with Miller, Chris Capuano, and Craig Breslow, although Breslow has not had his best year.
On the bench
The Red Sox platoon Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes in the outfield, with the one on the bench acting as the primary bench bat. David Ross will get a start behind the plate in the series, and Mike Carp will likely be regulated to bench work with Ortiz getting the starts at first base in Atlanta.
Monday May 26, 1:00pm ET
Ervin Santana, 4-2, 3.42 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 0.9 WAR
Clay Buchholz, 2-4, 6.32 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 0.4 WAR
Tuesday May 27, 7:00pm ET
Aaron Harang, 4-4, 3.32 ERA, 2.29 FIP, 1.7 WAR
Jon Lester, 4-6, 3.36 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 2.2 WAR
Wednesday May 28, 7:10pm ET
Gavin Floyd, 0-1, 2.49 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 0.5 WAR
John Lackey, 5-3, 3.58 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 1.5 WAR
Thursday 7:10pm ET
Mike Minor, 2-3, 3.90 ERA, 4.75 FIP, -0.1 WAR
Jake Peavy, 1-2, 4.65 ERA, 4.80 FIP, 0.4 WAR