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Atlanta Braves open series against hottest team in American League

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The Braves will have their hands full early this week, as they entertain the red-hot Cleveland Indians.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Suddenly and surprisingly, the Cleveland Indians are the hottest team in the American League, winners of nine straight after three-game sweeps of the White Sox, Rays, and Tigers.

Now it's the Braves' turn to face them in a three-game tilt, beginning on Monday night. Atlanta will send John Gant to the hill to take the first crack at solving the riddle that is the Indians. Gant was solid in his last start, lasting 5.2 innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits agains the Miami Marlins last week. All three runs came in the second inning of a 3-0 loss, and two via Justin Bour's mammoth home run.

Gant has made the first three starts of his career recently, and has been much better taking the ball from the first pitch than he was out of the bullpen. Nobody on the Indians' roster has faced Gant, since this is his first season in the big leagues, so Cleveland will get its first glance at the Vulcan changeup that he employs.

In the rematch of the 1995 World Series that Braves fans remember and love so dearly, Cleveland will send Trevor Bauer to the mound in Game 1 (of the series, not the Series). Bauer has been hot of late, with a sub-2.00 ERA in June. He notched a complete game victory his last time out against the Rays, and gave up just a single run and three hits. Bauer has had his ups and downs in his time with the Indians, but has only allowed four runs in a game once this season.

Against Bauer, Tyler Flowers is 3-for-6 against Bauer, and has an RBI. Ender Inciarte, Erick Aybar, and Freddie Freeman each have a single hit against the right-hander.

Atlanta is playing well, winning eight of its last 11 games. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports Southeast.

And...just in case you want to reminisce: