Well, the Atlanta Braves have no lost six straight games after falling to the Red Sox in the series opener last night, and your Twitter feeds have likely been filled with all sorts of fun statistics about the team's lack of power.
Even Baseball Reference is getting in on the fun.
To make matters worse, the team gets to go up against David Price Tuesday night, which is sure to be... fun? There's a real chance the team doesn't get the ball out of the infield tonight even with Price's hot-and-cold start to the season.
The Boston lefty has posted a 7.06 ERA over his first 21.2 innings this season, but a quick glance at his peripherals — and knowing his track record — is enough to reassure any Red Sox fans. He's striking out 13.29 batters per nine innings, which is third in all of baseball behind just Vincent Velasquez and Chris Archer. Combined with that Price is walking 2.49 batters per nine, which gives him a 5.33 K/BB ratio. Those are good numbers, and his 3.17 FIP and 2.86 xFIP — along with your own common sense — should let you know that Price is not going to be a 7+ ERA guy going forward.
He's one of the best pitchers in the game.
Matching up with him, will be Matt Wisler, who is coming off of a career-high, 115-pitch outing where he allowed just one run over 6.2 innings against the Dodgers. Granted it wasn't there A lineup, but Wisler's performance early this season has been encouraging.
He's actually used his much-talked-about changeup at about half the rate as he used in last season, but three starts is certainly too early to be drawing conclusions about his pitch usage. One note that is interesting to talk about, especially as I've been high on his slider, is the effectiveness that he's had with that pitch. He is generating whiffs on the pitch 22 percent of the time so far this season, compared with a 16 percent whiff rate last season. That seems like a pretty significant difference, and it will be interesting to track his success with the pitch as the season continues.*
Without diving too much more into the nitty-gritty, Wisler has posted a 3.10 ERA with a 4.16 FIP and 4.35 xFIP. He's striking out 7.08 batters per nine innings thus far, with a 1.77 BB/9 mark to go along with it. There's definitely some evidence to suggest that he's been getting lucky (opposing BABIP is just .207) and batters are hitting line drives against him on just 8.3 percent of the balls put in play against him, compared to a 23.2 line drive percentage last season.
Here's the lineup the Braves are working with tonight. Take solace in the fact that Freddie Freeman is back in the heart of the lineup.
Erick Aybar will also still playing second with hitting-phenom Daniel Castro locking down the shortstop position. As was mentioned in the comments, I got this backwards. Even after looking at the lineup I guess I just didn't think that was possible. Yikes.