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Joc Pederson, Kevan Smith rejoin Braves lineup for series finale

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The Braves enter play just two games behind the Mets. Can they cut it to 1.5?

MLB: JUL 31 Brewers at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Atlanta will deploy Joc Pederson and Kevan Smith versus left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who gets the start for St. Louis. Pederson came through with a huge RBI double on Wednesday, which gave the Braves enough insurance to salt away a 7-4 victory. It is curious that Guillermo Heredia would not start this game, as he owns a homer against LeBlanc in his career and plays superior defense in center field. Nonetheless, the Braves will give Pederson a chance to continue his solid work against the Cardinals. Smith draws the start over Vogt, but his days may be numbered as Travis d’Arnaud is nearing a return. Here is the full lineup:

The Cardinals will roll out a different looking lineup for the series finale. Dylan Carlson, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado all slide up to the top three spots in the order. Matt Carpenter gets the start at second base in place of Tommy Edman and will hit fifth. Andrew Knizner starts behind the plate and will hit eighth.

Thursday’s game is scheduled to get underway at 8:15 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.