Arguably the top two starters for each team, Tommy Hanson and Justin Verlander, square off in today's afternoon contest at Turner Field. Both are looking to rebound from very poor performances. They combined to throw 5.2 innings with 14 runs allowed in their last starts, numbers that neither are used to having. I would expect today to be pitcher's duel, especially when you consider that for the most part both of the past two games were well-pitched, low scoring games. Chipper Jones and Magglio Ordonez are out of the lineup, and the Braves have Eric Hinske batting third as Jason Heyward is missing his second consecutive game with his injured thumb. With David Ross still battling an injured hand, McCann started Friday night and Saturday's mid-day game and will start today's day game as well. Usually, Ross would find his way into the lineup on either Saturday or Sunday.
As I stated in the series preview, Hanson and Verlander have had similar seasons to date. I originally had incorrect numbers, but after editing it the numbers are still rather similar with a few differences here and there. The advantage Hanson has by facing National League lineups is likely a reason for his partially better performance on the mound. He's gotten unlucky compared to Verlander on batted balls, but their actual skills on the mound are similar. Both throw their fastball with great efficiency. The main difference in their styles is that Hanson relies on both of his breaking balls while Verlander relies more on his curveball and changeup. Neither Hanson's changeup nor Verlander's slider are thrown very often. Here are their numbers for the season, rather comparable to say the least.
Hanson: 8.97 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, 0.73 HR/9, .334 BABIP, 37.8 GB%, 4.17 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 4.03 xFIP, 86 K, 29 BB
Verlander: 8.16 K/9, 3.19 BB/9, 0.66 HR/9, .276 BABIP, 42.7 GB%, 3.94 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 4.05 xFIP, 87 K, 34 BB
Lineups will be posted in the comment section. The game will start at 1:35 EST.