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Braves look to Teheran as potential sweep looms

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Atlanta has a chance to sweep a division rival tonight, with red-hot Julio Teheran on the mound.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have taken the first two games of a three-game series with the Mets this week, and will look to finish off a sweep of their division rivals on Thursday. Combined with exceptionally poor defense last night, the Atlanta bullpen was again the source of angst as the Mets made a valiant attempt to spoil a four-run ninth-inning lead against Mark Melancon. Prior to all the drama that unfolded late, the Braves got an incredible performance from Dallas Keuchel as the left-hander tossed six shutout innings. Tonight Atlanta turns to Julio Teheran as they look to sweep the ‘red-hot’ Mets.

Over his last eight starts, Teheran has a 6-2 record with a 2.17 ERA over 4523 innings pitched. The right-hander has benefited from some batted ball fortune over that span while limiting opponents to just five homers, which is a significant development for Teheran as he has struggled mightily in that regard in recent years. In his last outing, Teheran limited the Marlins to one run across seven innings, striking out seven while allowing just five hits.

Recent success is encouraging as Teheran enters tonight’s contest, but in three starts versus the Mets this season, the right-hander has been far less effective. Over 1313 innings against New York, Teheran has a 6.08 ERA with 19 hits allowed and a 2.025 WHIP. Those numbers will certainly not play, but Teheran has seemingly turned a corner of late, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against the Mets tonight.

In opposition of Teheran and the Braves will be newly-acquired Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman. New York acquired Stroman at the Trade Deadline in a deal that was criticized heavily on both sides throughout baseball. The Mets gave up very little with regards to prospect cost, but also had very little chance of making the playoffs at the time. Their recent hot streak has reversed the narrative somewhat, but it was still odd process from the Mets front office.

For all the negative publicity around his acquisition, Stroman is an effective pitcher, and owns the third-highest ground ball rate in baseball at 55%. The issue with Stroman’s propensity for inducing ground balls is that the Mets defense rates among the worst in baseball. The success of the Mets starting staff is predicated heavily on the ability to miss bats, limiting the number of opportunities for their porous defense to falter. Since coming over from the Blue Jays, Stroman owns a 6.08 ERA and 3.60 FIP, which suggests that the right-hander has already been victimized by poor batted ball fortune. The Braves will look to prolong those misfortunes tonight as they battle Stroman for the first time as divisional foes.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, August 15, 7:20 p.m. ET

Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, GA

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Streaming: MLB.tv

Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network