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Game Thread 9/12 Braves vs Rangers

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The Rangers aren't good but Ryan Doumit is batting 5th

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Alex Wood day Braves fans! The Braves are in a good position to get things back on track tonight for their final playoff push against the Texas Rangers. The Braves are 2 games out of a wildcard spot with 16 games to go and they have three games this weekend against the worst team in baseball. On the one hand this is a great opportunity to sweep a bad team and every game is priceless at this point. On the other hand dropping any games would be bad, dropping the series would be a disaster. The margin for error is approaching zero and if Atlanta is going to make the playoffs they have to take care of business against bad teams.

The Braves offense is obviously not good but with Gattis still out due to illness the bad situation is even worse. Christian Bethancourt is starting at catcher and he has yet to show an ability to hit minor league pitching consistently. BJ Upton is BJ Upton, Andrelton Simmons is even worse at the plate, and Ryan Doumit is the Braves designated hitter. Yes, the Braves are starting a guy with a 55 wRC+ as their designated hitter. On the bright side Doumit won't be playing defense so the Braves have that going for them.

Despite the lineup issues the Braves should win tonight. Alex Wood is in terrific form and has been the Braves best pitcher this season going by FIP which is a stat that tries to isolate a pitcher's performance from his defense. The Rangers are bad in general and their lineup is atrocious. JP Arcencibia is actually worse than Doumit and is batting THIRD for the Rangers. Adrian Beltre is great but man this Rangers lineup looks even worse than Atlanta's. This really is a must win.

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<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>

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<th align="left">ATLANTA BRAVES</th>

<th align="left">TEXAS RANGERS</th>

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<tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jason Heyward - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Leonys Martin - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Phil Gosselin - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Elvis Andrus - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Freddie Freeman - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">J.P. Arencibia - DH</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Justin Upton - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Adrian Beltre - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Ryan Doumit - DH</td><td class="td-first td-name">Ryan Rua - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Chris Johnson - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Robinson Chirinos - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Christian Bethancourt - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Rougned Odor - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">B.J. Upton - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Michael Choice - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Andrelton Simmons - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">Dan Robertson - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name"></td><td class="td-first td-name"></td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Alex Wood - LHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Derek Holland - LHP</td></tr></tbody>

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