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Braves prepare to open long homestand against Pirates

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Kevin Gausman needs a good start in the worst way.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping two of three in Pittsburgh, the Atlanta Braves recovered with a three-game sweep in Miami to pull within one game of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East standings. They will now return home where they will begin a 10-game homestand against the Pirates, Phillies and Mets.

After winning two straight against Atlanta early last week, the Pirates went to Milwaukee where they were swept in three straight. They are 30-34 and now seven games back in the NL Central. Pittsburgh will have a bit of a different look when they arrive in Atlanta. The team activated outfielder Corey Dickerson and third baseman Jung Ho Kang from the injured list over the weekend.

Here is a look at the pitching matchups for the series.

Monday, June 10, 7:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

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

Joe Musgrove (2019: 13 G, 12 GS, 73.0 IP, 18.8 K%, 6.6 BB%, 4.44 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 4.58 xFIP)

After struggling his way through May, Joe Musgrove turned in one of his best performances of the season last time out against the Braves. He allowed five hits and three runs over a season high eight innings while striking out six and walking just one. He came into that start having allowed three runs or more in five of his last six starts.

Kevin Gausman (2019: 12 GS, 60 IP, 22.3 K%, 8.6 BB%, 6.15 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 4.54 xFIP)

With Dallas Keuchel now in the fold for the Braves, every start is crucial for Kevin Gausman who has struggled of late. Gausman has allowed 20 hits and 15 earned runs in just six innings over his last start starts. The Pirates battered him for for 12 hits and seven runs over five innings last time out. Gausman has shown good velocity with his four seamer and his splitter but has struggled with his command of both. He seems to have lost confidence in his slider which he is throwing just two percent of the time this season.

Tuesday, June 11, 7:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Chris Archer (2019: 10 GS, 53.2 IP, 22.3 K%, 11.8 BB%, 5.20 ERA, 5.46 FIP, 4.90 xFIP)

Chris Archer allowed a first inning home run to Freddie Freeman but nothing else in his last start against the Braves. Archer allowed six hits in total and just one run over six innings while striking out six and walking just two. That was the first time in six starts that he had allowed two earned runs or less. Control has been the key for Archer who has walked 16 batters combined in his past five starts.

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

Mike Foltynewicz (2019: 8 GS, 44.1 IP, 19.5 K%, 4.7 BB%, 5.89 ERA, 6.62 FIP, 4.91 xFIP)

The home run ball has been the biggest issue for Mike Foltynewicz as he looks to regain the All-Star form he showed last season. Foltynewicz allowed 17 home runs in 183 innings in 2018. He has already allowed 15 in just 44 1/3 innings this season. He allowed six hits, including a pair of homers, and three runs over six innings in Pittsburgh during his last start.

Wednesday, June 12, 7:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

TBD

The Pirates have yet to announce a starter for Wednesday’s game but it appears that top prospect Mitch Keller is a possibility.

Mike Soroka (2019: 10 GS, 65.1 IP, 21.9 K%, 6.5 BB%, 1.38 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 3.50 xFIP)

Mike Soroka is coming off of a dominant outing in Miami and will be looking to continue that on Wednesday. Soroka allowed just three hits and just one run over eight innings. He struck out six and walked just two. Soroka has allowed one earned run or less in a remarkable nine of his 10 starts this season.

Thursday, June 13, 12:10 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, MLB Network)

Jordan Lyles (2019: 12 GS, 64.1 IP, 24.9 K%, 9.1 BB%, 3.64 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 4.12 xFIP)

Jordan Lyles got off to a terrific start in 2019 but is trying to work his way through some recent struggles. Lyles accumulated a 1.97 ERA through his first eight starts. Since then he has allowed 16 runs over his next 18 2/3 innings (four starts). He allowed five hits and three runs in just three innings while racking up 92 pitches in his last start in Milwaukee.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Teheran (2019: 14 GS, 77.1 IP, 22.7 K%, 11.4 BB%, 3.03 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 4.82 xFIP)

Julio Teheran is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career and will get the nod in Thursday’s series finale. Teheran allowed just two hits, one walk and struck out five over six shutout innings against the Marlins in his last start. He hasn’t allowed a run in his past two outings and has allowed a total of three runs over his last seven starts (38 2/3 innings).