Monday, May 27, 2013

Home-and-Home Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (30-19) at Toronto Blue Jays (21-29)

Pitching Probables:
Mon: Tim Hudson (ATL) 4-2, 4.95 ERA vs. Mark Buehrle (TOR) 1-3, 5.90 ERA
Tue: Paul Maholm (ATL) 6-4, 3.38 ERA vs. Brandon Morrow (TOR) 2-3, 5.50 ERA
Wed: Esmil Rogers (TOR) 1-2, 4.56 ERA vs. Kris Medlen (ATL) 1-5, 3.16 ERA
Thu: R.A. Dickey (TOR) 4-6, 4.85 ERA vs. Mike Minor (ATL) 6-2, 2.47 ERA

Tonight's Starting Lineups (7:07 pm ET, SportSouth/MLB Network):

Braves (career vs. Buehrle):
Andrelton Simmons - SS (1-2)
Reed Johnson - RF (13-37, 4 2B, 3 RBI, 4 K)
Justin Upton - LF (3-6, HR, 2 RBI, K)
Freddie Freeman - 1B (1-6, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB, K)
Evan Gattis - DH (N/A)
Brian McCann - C (4-11, 2B, RBI, BB, K)
Dan Uggla - 2B (3-12, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K)
Chris Johnson - 3B (1-3, RBI)
Jordan Schafer - CF (N/A)

Blue Jays (career vs. Hudson):
Melky Cabrera - LF (2-6, 3B, BB, K)
Jose Bautista - RF (3-11, 2 2B, BB, K)
Edwin Encarnacion - DH (3-12, BB, K)
Adam Lind - 1B (0-5, 2 K)
JP Arencibia - C (1-3, K)
Colby Rasmus - CF (5-11, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 5 K)
Brett Lawrie - 3B (N/A)
Emilio Bonifacio - 2B (7-18, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K)
Munenori Kawasaki - SS (N/A)

Comparisons by Position:
Brian McCann (ATL) .292/.375/.563 4 HR 12 RBI
Evan Gattis (ATL) .256/.307/.576 10 HR 29 RBI
JP Arencibia (TOR) .236/.253/.477 11 HR 25 RBI
Freddie Freeman (ATL) .288/.361/.410 3 HR 30 RBI
Adam Lind (TOR) .304/.398/.491 4 HR 11 RBI
Edwin Encarnacion (TOR) .253/.333/.495 13 HR 38 RBI
Dan Uggla (ATL) .190/.299/.418 10 HR 20 RBI
Emilio Bonifacio (TOR) .207/.240/.339 2 HR 11 RBI
Juan Francisco (ATL) .245/.294/.412 5 HR 16 RBI
Chris Johnson (ATL) .352/.386/.496 3 HR 14 RBI
Brett Lawrie (TOR) .199/.260/.368 5 HR 14 RBI
Maicer Izturis (TOR) .213/.242/.323 3 HR 6 RBI
Mark DeRosa (TOR) .203/.300/.424 3 HR 14 RBI
Andrelton Simmons (ATL) .240/.276/.369 5 HR 18 RBI
Munenori Kawasaki (TOR) .247/.345/.320 0 HR 14 RBI
Justin Upton (ATL) .272/.385/.572 14 HR 29 RBI
Melky Cabrera (TOR) .283/.327/.384 2 HR 18 RBI
BJ Upton (ATL) .148/.236/.252 4 HR 8 RBI
Colby Rasmus (TOR) .237/.306/.423 7 HR 20 RBI
Jason Heyward (ATL) .163/.306/.272 2 HR 8 RBI
Jose Bautista (TOR) .295/.405/.564 11 HR 27 RBI

Braves and Blue Jays are kicking off a new age-type Interleague series on Monday night, but the pitching matchup will have an old school-type feel to it.
The two clubs will kickoff a home-and-home series in Toronto on Monday night, the red-hot Braves, winners of eight of their last nine ballgames, will send veteran RHP Tim Hudson to the mound to square off against the Blue Jays veteran LHP Mark Buehrle. The two teams will play two in Toronto before travelling back to Atlanta to close out the home-and-home series on Wednesday and Thursday.
Buehrle (1-3, 5.90 ERA) is off to a shaky start in his first season in Toronto. He has managed only one win in ten starts this season, but has recently showed signs of a turnaround.
Despite being winless since April 15th, Buehrle has pitched exceptionally well in his last three starts. In his last start against the Rays on Wednesday, Buehrle allowed two runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out six in seven innings, marking the third consecutive start in which Buehrle has entered the 7th inning having allowed two or fewer runs. Buehrle's lone win of the season came against his former club in the White Sox. Despite Buehrle's 1-3 record, the Blue Jays are 6-4 in his starts this season.
As for Tim Hudson, he's looking for a turnaround of his own after a recent slide following an impressive start to the season. In his first seven starts of the season, Hudson was 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA. But in his last three starts, Hudson is 0-2 with a 8.56 ERA to raise his ERA up to 4.98. In his previous start against the Twins, Hudson lasted just five innings due to 76-minute delay because of rain and multiple outages in the stadium lights. In those five innings, Hudson allowed two runs on five hits and struck out five. Hudson looks to build off of his previous outing Monday night in Toronto.

Freddie Freeman: red-hot with RISP:
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman has picked up where he left off last season in terms of hitting with runners in scoring position. So far in 2013, Freeman is hitting .486 (17-for-35) with runners in scoring position. That leads the National League among qualified hitters with at least 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Freeman's success with driving runners in from 2nd and 3rd has helped him lead the team in RBI with 30.

Side note:
Braves are 20-3 (.870) this season when scoring first.
Braves and Blue Jays have split their first 30 all-time meetings evenly, 15-15, but Atlanta has won eight of the last nine dating back to 2009.
Braves 3B Chris Johnson leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this season and has six games of three or more hits which is tied 3rd in the NL. Johnson has hit safely in each of his last seven starts.
Tim Hudson is 11-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 16 career starts against the Blue Jays.
In 6 starts against the Braves in his career, Mark Buehrle is 3-2 with a 4.84 ERA.

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