After well-documented and thoroughly-stressed-over struggles in the Braves’ starting rotation for nearly the entire season, this weekend saw two straight strongly pitched games from the Braves’ swath of young hurlers. With Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright both flashing the potential that could make them future rotation stalwarts, Touki looks to make it three in a row. It will be his first appearance since August 23.
A win tonight would be the Braves’ third in a row and their fifth in six games since the return of Ozzie Albies.
Touki will face an Orioles team that started out strong, but whose record has returned closer to their rightful place in the standings. They are currently in fourth place in the AL East, riding a five-game skid which has dragged their record to 20-26.
The O’s will send Jorge Lopez to the mound. He comes into this start with a 6.38 ERA | 4.50 FIP, along with a 1-0 record. Despite the ERA, a few of Lopez’s surface stats - 3.06 walks per nine, 1.16 home runs per nine - are not *too* bad, although a deeper glimpse at Lopez’s 2020 indicate he is not having a very good time. He ranks in the bottom third percentile in exit velocity, hard hit rate, whiff percentage, barrel percentage, and a garden variety of Statcast’s expected stats.
Despite the Braves’ rotation’s uneven nature thus far in 2020, the oft-referenced “unspoken competition” among young pitchers could come into play tonight as Toussaint attempts to duplicate Anderson and Wright’s successes. Another strong start would allow Brian Snitker to breathe easily rather than relying on his bullpen yet again.
Game Date/Time: Monday, August 14, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network