After splitting a weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds, the Atlanta Braves welcome the Philadelphia Phillies to town for a three-game set. The goal is a series victory that would even the squad's record for the season.
In late April, the Phillies did claim two out of three games against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park with similar pitching match-ups, but the change of venue could serve as a positive for Atlanta here. The Braves will send the trio of Alex Wood, Shelby Miller and youngster Mike Foltynewicz to the hill in the trio of games, and given that Trevor Cahill took the mound against Philly in the last series, expectations should be raised a bit.
Another positive in this instance is that the Braves will (again) miss Cole Hamels. The Phillies, who are an ugly 9-17 on the season, have received positive efforts from a few of their non-Hamels starters (most notably Harang), but as an offensive club, Philadelphia struggles on a regular basis, and none of the arms that they will deploy in this series are particularly terrifying.
It will also be interesting to see how Fredi Gonzalez continues to build the lineup during this series. Chris Johnson is on the shelf for the next few weeks, opening up playing time for the likes of Alberto Callaspo and even Phil Gosselin, but after a series in which the team scored 4 runs or more in each game against Cincinnati, the offense could be turning the corner a bit.
Simply put, the Philadelphia Phillies aren't very good and their record is indicative of that bold declaration. At Turner Field, anything less than a series victory would be disappointing.
Stay tuned throughout the series for in-depth coverage in this space.
Monday, May 4 at 7:10 PM EST
PHI: Aaron Harang
2015: 2-2, 2.51 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 7.52 K/9, 1.95 BB/9
ATL: Alex Wood
2015: 1-1, 4.03 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 6.21 K/9, 3.41 BB/9
Tuesday, May 5th at 7:10 PM EST
PHI: Chad Billingsley
2012 (yes, 2012): 10-9, 3.55 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 7.70 K/9, 2.71 BB/9 (has not pitched since one start in 2013)
ATL: Shelby Miller
2015: 3-1, 2.17 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 7.14 K/9, 3.72 BB/9
Wednesday, May 6th at 7:10 PM EST
PHI: Jerome Williams
2015: 2-1, 4.08 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 5.34 K/9, 2.20 BB/9
ATL: Mike Foltynewicz
2015: 1-0, 3.60 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 3.60 K/9, 5.40 BB/9 (second MLB start)