The Atlanta Braves, fresh of another early season off-day, look to continue their streak of recent success as they welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Atlanta. If it feels like you have heard this story before, it is because you have. As the calendar was going from April to May, the Braves were riding high after winning three out of four games versus the Cubs. However, the Blue Jays stopped that success in its tracks, as they defeated the Braves soundly in a three game sweep.
The Braves certainly do not want history to repeat itself, especially after getting the 2021 season somewhat back on track with five wins in their last six games, each of which were against NL East opponents. It certainly has been a season of streaks for the Braves. Win three out of four, lose three in a row, and then another stretch of winning five out of six games. In the end, the hope for Atlanta is that with winning three out of their last four series, they can continue their steady progression toward their true talent.
Another sign of progression toward true talent hopefully emerged over the past two games for Freddie Freeman. Against the Cubs in late April, Freeman was starting to find his stride and get on track with his normal elite production. However, he was hit in the elbow during a game. Obviously, since the end of 2019, that is certainly concerning, and Freeman going hitless in six of his next seven games did not help. However, against the Phillies, Freeman had four hits and two homeruns in the final two games of that series, which were Braves wins. If Freeman can regain his form soon, it will certainly be a needed boost for the Braves.
The Braves will be facing a familiar name in the form of Robbie Ray. On April 30th, Ray was highly effective against Atlanta, as he produced six scoreless innings before yielding two runs in the seventh. The Blue Jays scored 13 runs, so Ray certainly had more than enough support while he did his job. He has had a successful start to the season, with a 3.14 ERA and a 29/9 K to BB ratio over 28 2⁄3 innings. Ray threw 68 strikes over 95 pitches in his outing against Atlanta, so the Braves must be ready to capitalize on hittable pitches.
The Braves will counter with Bryse Wilson, who has struggled mightily to start the season. Though he did not allow a home run in his last outing. Wilson allowed seven hits and four earned runs in three innings. Wilson simply is allowing far too much hard contact to be productive, and must find a better approach to keep hitters off balance. If he does not accomplish that, the Braves will need to score early and often to have a chance to win.
The Blue Jays are certainly a tough matchup, but the Braves have been getting incrementally better offensively. Hopefully, they will continue to find decent to good pitching to support their efforts and use May has a great opportunity to make a move in the NL standings.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 11th, 7 7:20 P.M. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network