The Braves have had three straight frustrating losses, as they have now lost three consecutive games immediately after reaching the .500 mark for the fifth time this season, which is pretty incredible for a team hovering around .500 overall, even if it’s slightly below .500. Over half of Atlanta’s losses this season have come during losing streaks that have immediately followed the team being at the .500 mark, which is just very strange statistically.
Anyway, so Atlanta will try to stop this latest streak at “only” three losses, with Max Fried taking the mound. Fried has been mostly good since returning from injury, aside from a bit of a rough start against Washington. Fried has allowed one earned run in five of his nine starts this season and only two in another, but he has allowed 16 earned runs in 9.2 innings in his other three starts. This all combines to a lackluster 4.63 ERA, although his peripheral stats (xERA, FIP, xFIP, and SIERA) all indicate that he has performed somewhat better than the ERA indicates. While his strikeout rate is back up to 9.07 K/9 this season after dipping near 8 last season, his ground ball rate is down from 53% to 43.9% and his BABIP against is up to .348. Essentially, Fried has gone from being both very good and lucky last season to closer to average or above average but unlucky so far this season.
Zach Thompson is expected to get the bulk of the work on the mound for Miami on Saturday, although an opener is a possibility, with the starter still being listed as TBD. Thompson is a big 6’7 27 year old rookie with only three innings of major league experience. Thompson was used in one three inning stint last week, in which he allowed two runs, struck out one and walked one. In that outing, Thompson displayed lackluster velocity for someone that large, sitting in the lower 90s, and threw this fastball about 60% of the time, mixing in a pretty good changeup and a slider that is nothing special the rest of the time. Thompson’s fastball did show good “rise” and run in his debut. All of that being said, the Thompson should be a vulnerable target for this Atlanta offense.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
4:10 pm EDT
loanDepot park, Miami, FL
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network
XM Radio: Online / Ch. 186