After picking up a wire-to-wire victory over the Mets last night, the Braves will be hoping to keep things going and continue to keep their divisional rivals far behind them as Dallas Keuchel makes the start.
Keuchel will be heading into tonight’s game with redemption surely on his mind. His most recent outing was a shockingly-bad performance against the Marlins. It was easily one of the worst starts of his career and it will surely be an outlier from what you’d normally expect from him. So with that said, if Keuchel just has a normal start then that would be more of what we expect and miles better than what happened down on South Beach.
As usual with a lot of the National League teams, Keuchel doesn’t have much of a track record against anybody playing for the Mets tonight, so this really is just an issue of him getting back on track. He told the AJC that he was feeling confident (even after that mess of a start in Miami) and it’s just a matter of putting things together in a comfortable manner. The Mets have been doing a decent job of hitting the ball lately, but they also come into this game with a team batted ground ball Rate of around 45 percent. Granted, this stat seemed to indicate that Keuchel was going to have a field day against the Marlins (who are around 49 percent when it comes to ground balls hit) and then he ended up giving up three dingers, so who knows what could happen. Hopefully we’ll see a vintage performance tonight and his nightmare in Miami will indeed be just an outlier.
Meanwhile, Steven Matz is getting the start for the Mets and this will be the fourth time that the Braves have had to deal with him this season. The last time the Braves saw him was on June 29 and they didn’t see much of him. That was when the game in New York saw a rain delay that was long enough to end Matz’s night, but not before they got to him for three hits and two runs through just two innings. It appeared that the Braves were picking up from where they left off 10 days earlier, which is when they welcomed Matz back to Atlanta with six hits, four walks and five runs — with a couple of home runs peppered in there as well.
So while recent events seem to tilt this matchup in favor of the Braves, Matz has shown that he has the capability of tossing a gem. He ended July with a complete game shutout against the Pirates — only to go out and not even make it out of the fourth inning against those very same Pirates on his very next outing. So that’s saying Matz is somewhat inconsistent as a pitcher. He could go out there and mystify the Braves tonight, or he could very well get shelled again and the Braves would just continue what they had been doing earlier this summer.
All eyes will definitely be on Dallas Keuchel tonight. He’ll absolutely be on the road to redemption after his debacle last week. Additionally, he hasn’t really had a dazzling start against some decent competition since arriving in Atlanta. Now would be as good of a time as ever to deliver and give the team another huge boost as they look to take a series victory against New York.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, August 14, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network