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Braves return home to face red hot Rays

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Julio Teheran will look to cool off Tampa Bay in Tuesday’s series opener.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves return to SunTrust Park on Tuesday where they will open a nine-game home stand against the hottest team in baseball. The Tampa Bay Rays roll into Atlanta riding an eight-game winning streak including a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox this past weekend. They remain buried in the AL East standings but are trying to get themselves back into wildcard contention.

The Braves’ just wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a 5-2 record. Their starting pitching was a huge reason why compiling a 0.63 ERA while holding opponents to just a .128 batting average. They will need to keep that up against a Rays team that is 21-14 since the All-Star break and 16-8 so far in August.

Atlanta swept a two-game set in Tampa back in early May. Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran both turned in strong performances in that series and both are scheduled to face the Rays again this week. Tampa manager Kevin Cash has embraced the opener strategy and the Braves are likely to see that scenario play out in both games.

Tuesday, August 28, 7:35 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Ryne Stanek (44 G, 21 GS, 2-3 W-L, 31.0 K%, 10.0 BB%, 2.53 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 3.94 xFIP)

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ryne Stanek will start Tuesday’s series opener although he likely won’t pitch more than one or two innings. He is second on the Rays’ pitching staff in games started with 21 and has allowed just 10 earned runs in 31.2 innings as a starter. Stanek struck out four over a 1 2/3 inning relief appearance back in May. Yonny Chirinos is expected to follow Stanek. Chirinos has appeared in 12 games and has a 4.05 ERA in 57 1/3 innings.

Julio Teheran (25 GS, 9-7 W-L, 22.2 K%, 11.4 BB%, 4.09 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 4.67 xFIP)

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves will counter with right-hander Julio Teheran who is in the midst of his best stretch of the season. Teheran allowed two hits and one run over seven innings in his last start at Pittsburgh. He has allowed a total of four earned runs in his last three starts which spans 20 innings. Teheran allowed four hits and struck out seven over six shutout innings against the Rays back on May 9.

Wednesday, August 29, 7:35 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Diego Castillo (31 G, 2 GS, 3-2 W-L, 26.6 K%, 10.4 BB%, 3.32 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 3.72 xFIP)

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay hasn’t officially named a starter for Wednesday’s game but Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that it is likely to be Diego Castillo who gets the nod with left-hander Jalen Beeks to follow. Castillo has appeared in 32 games this season including two starts. He is a hard thrower with a good slider. Beeks began the season with the Red Sox but was acquired in the Nathan Eovaldi trade. He has made six appearances for the Rays allowing 16 earned runs in 27 2/3 innings.

Sean Newcomb (25 GS, 11-6 W-L, 22.2 K%, 11.3 BB%, 3.57 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 4.33 xFIP)

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Newcomb bounced back in a big way last time out allowing just two hits over six shutout innings against the Marlins. That followed two straight rough outings where he had allowed a combined 21 hits and 12 earned runs in just 9 1/3 innings. Newcomb held the Rays to just two hits and struck out six over six shutout innings back on May 8.