Fresh off of a 3-2 road trip, the Atlanta Braves return to Truist Park where they will begin a seven-game homestand with a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Atlanta comes into the series at 8-10 and are 3-4 so far at home in 2021.
Atlanta’s offense started the season off cold but has picked up lately. The Braves are seventh in the majors in runs scored and are 10th in wRC+.
Austin Riley was one of Atlanta’s many players that got off to a slow start, but he finished the road trip on a good note going 5-for-8 over the final three games with three walks and his first home run of 2021 in Wednesday’s win over the Yankees. That homer was Riley’s first extra base hit of the season.
Atlanta has had to work around a number of injuries in the early going and that continued during the road trip. Ronald Acuña Jr. left Sunday’s game in Chicago due to a strained lower abdomen. Acuña sat out both games in New York, but Brian Snitker told reporters Wednesday that his condition has improved and that there is a chance he could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday. Also, Cristian Pache has been cleared to resume baseball activities and will begin working out at the alternate training site. Pache is currently on the 10-day injured list due to a strained groin.
Max Fried remains on the injured list and has not yet been cleared to resume throwing after suffering a strained hamstring back on April 13 against Miami. The Braves will continue to play it safe with Fried.
Arizona comes into the series with a 9-10 record and winners of four straight after sweeping the Reds. They are 5-2 on their current road trip.
Friday, April 23, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Luke Weaver (3 GS, 16.2 IP, 21.2 K%, 1.5 BB%, 3.78 ERA, 5.32 xERA, 4.87 FIP, 3.93 xFIP)
Diamondbacks righty Luke Weaver will get the nod in Friday’s series opener and will be looking to find some consistency after an up and down start. Weaver allowed eight hits and four runs over four innings to the Nationals in his last start. He was outstanding in his previous outing holding a hot Reds offense to just one hit over seven scoreless innings while striking out eight. On the season, he has allowed 13 hits and seven runs over 16 2/3 innings.
Huascar Ynoa (4 G, 3 GS, 16.0 IP, 31.7 K%, 4.8 BB%, 3.94 ERA, 5.67 xERA, 4.38 FIP, 2.43 xFIP)
Huascar Ynoa will make his fourth start of the season Friday and will be looking to bounce back after a rough outing. Ynoa allowed five hits and one run in his first two starts combined but was tagged for seven hits and six runs in just four innings last time out against the Cubs. Three of those hits left the ballpark and he has now allowed four longballs in 16 innings this season.
Saturday, April 24, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports Southeast)
Madison Bumgarner (4 GS, 18.2 IP, 22.0 K%, 9.9 BB%, 8.68 ERA, 6.72 xERA, 5.80 FIP, 5.24 xFIP)
Veteran lefty Madison Bumgarner will make his fifth start of the season Saturday. Bumgarner is coming off his best outing of the season where he limited the Nationals to just two hits and one run over five innings. Coming into that game he had allowed a total of 22 hits and 17 runs in 13 2/3 innings across three starts. So far, Bumgarner has a 7.16 ERA and a 6.75 FIP in 60 1/3 innings in 13 starts over the last two seasons for Arizona. Be happy that it isn’t the Braves that owe him approximately $60 million over the next three seasons.
Drew Smyly (2 GS, 11.0 IP, 25.6 K%, 2.3 BB%, 5.73 ERA, 4.26 xERA, 4.89 FIP, 3.86 xFIP)
Atlanta will activate Drew Smyly in time to make Saturday’s start. Smyly was scratched prior to his last scheduled outing due to forearm inflammation. Smyly allowed four hits, two earned runs and struck out eight over six innings in his debut. He wasn’t as effective in his second outing allowing five hits and five runs in five innings with just three strikeouts in his last start against the Phillies.
Sunday, April 25, 1:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)
Zac Gallen (2 GS, 9.2 IP, 32.6 K%, 14.0 BB%, 3.72 ERA, 3.32 xERA, 3.38 FIP, 3.47 xFIP)
Zac Gallen will get the nod for the Diamondbacks in the finale on Sunday. Gallen’s season debut was delayed after he was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right forearm during spring training. He was impressive in his debut striking out eight in just four innings against Oakland while allowing three hits and one run. He stretched out further in his second start allowing four hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings at Cincinnati. Gallen did walk four in that game and has six walks in 9 2/3 innings but has 14 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .189 average against.
Bryse Wilson (1 GS, 5.0 IP, 4.8 K%, 4.8 BB%, 3.60 ERA, 3.95 xERA, 8.47 FIP, 5.35 xFIP)
Bryse Wilson made his season debut last Sunday where he allowed seven hits and two runs over five innings in a win over the Cubs. Wilson of course turned heads with a big performance in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers last season. He followed that up with a strong spring and now has an opportunity to stick in the rotation while Max Fried and Mike Soroka continue to work their way back from injury.