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GameThread, 7/16/2021: Rays @ Braves

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Michael Wacha vs. Charlie Morton

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Braves begin the “second half” of their season tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ve got infinite work to get back to contender-level relevance, and the linear flow of time and the season schedule is a definite obstacle. We’ll see what happens.

One thing of interest is what kind of start this will end up being for Michael Wacha. Is it a short stint, or a long one? Of course, if the Braves are getting blown out, there’s no harm to let Wacha keep pitching, but if things are close, I do wonder how many arms the Rays end up using in this game.

Also, I did this entire game preview gamut until now without mentioning Wander Franco, uber-prospect. Anyway, he’s here, he’s hitting third for the Rays, he hasn’t really done much of anything so far. Hopefully that continues through this series, because the Braves have enough on their plate without getting wrecked by the potential second coming of Mike Trout.