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Series Preview: Braves vs. Diamondbacks

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves are hotter than a summer grill as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend. Break out your sparklers, firecrackers, and various other consumer pyrotechnics...it's July 4th! Hopefully, they'll be used for celebrating more than just our nation's independence as the Braves look to continue a hot streak that has lasted seven games thus far.

Arizona comes in tied for the worst record in the Majors at 36-51; bear in mind this is the same team with the worst home record, yet won two of three from the Braves at Chase Field last month. They're a .500 team away from home, and are coming off a victory in Pittsburgh in which they scored seven runs in the ninth.

Paul Goldscmidt serves as a fearsome presence in Arizona's lineup, and is expected to be elected to his second straight All-Star Game. He's among the top 10 in the NL in hitting, home runs, RBI, OBP, and walks. However, in the few games he's played at Turner Field (only nine to date), he's been held to a .107 avg. (3-28, 8 K). In addition, he's also not the hottest hitter in their lineup. David Peralta is 8-14 and is hitting .324 since debuting June 1.

Conversely, some of their other offense producers such as Gerardo Parra, Miguel Montero, Aaron Hill and Martin Prado are all hitting under .230 over the last week. Parra has been especially horrible with just one hit in his last 20 at-bats.

Shortstop Chris Owings was placed on the DL with a bruised shoulder, so Arizona called up Nick Ahmed. Remember him? He was part of the package that brought Justin Upton to Atlanta, and has appeared in two games thus far.

Arizona's ERA since facing the Braves back in June has been 3.92; somewhat expected of a last place team. Over the last week however, they managed a 2.45 mark (granted, they did play San Diego). Friday's starter, Josh Collmenter, has been the most effective starter lately. Over his last 11.1 innings, Collmenter has allowed all of two runs despite 10 hits and six walks.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Friday, July 4, 7:35 p.m. ET

Ervin Santana (ATL)

W-L 6-5, 4.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.07 K/BB

Josh Collmenter (ARZ)

W-L 7-4, 3.74 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 2.15 K/BB

Saturday, July 5, 4:10 p.m. ET

Aaron Harang (ATL)

W-L 7-6, 3.69 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 2.36 K/BB

Mike Bolsinger (ARZ)

W-L 1-4, 4.53 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 2.92 K/BB

Sunday, July 6, 1:35 p.m. ET

Alex Wood (ATL)

W-L 6-6, 3.19 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 4.35 K/BB

Wade Miley (ARZ)

W-L 3-6, 4.61 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 3.12 K/BB