Weather could be a factor for the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates when they open a three-game series at PNC Park on Friday. Atlanta dropped a 6-2 decision in New York on Thursday in chilly conditions. The Pirates and Red Sox were rained out in their series finale on Friday. Atlanta comes into Friday’s game with a 1-2 record while Pittsburgh is 0-2.
Friday, April 7, 1:05 p.m. ET (MLB Network, Fox Sports South)
Mike Foltynewicz will get the nod for the Braves on Friday and hopes to build off what was a strong spring training performance. Weather could be a factor as snow is in the forecast for Friday’s game. R.A. Dickey was originally slated to start for Atlanta but the Braves opted to push him back a day and not have him try and deal with the weather. Foltynewicz allowed just seven runs in 23 2⁄3 innings this spring but is 0-2 in his career against Pittsburgh allowing 10 earned runs in just 8 1⁄3 innings.
Despite Thursday’s rain out, the Pirates elected to keep Ivan Nova in place as the team’s starter on Friday. Pittsburgh acquired Nova in a trade deadline deal with the Yankees last season and then re-signed him to a three-year, $26 million deal during the offseason. Nova went 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA down the stretch for the Pirates last season. Nova hasn’t faced the Braves since 2012 when he threw seven shutout innings as a member of the Yankees.
Saturday, April 8, 7:05 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)
R.A. Dickey will make his debut in an Atlanta uniform on Saturday and his first start in the National League since 2012. Dickey had an up and down spring for the Braves but insisted that he felt good and that he wasn’t concerned about his spring performance. He finished strong allowing just two runs over his last eight spring innings including two scoreless innings in Atlanta’s exhibition opener at SunTrust Park against the Yankees. Dickey has pitched well in his career against the Pirates going 5-2 with a 2.55 ERA in seven career starts.
Pittsburgh will counter with Chad Kuhl on Saturday who was originally slated to start Thursday’s series finale in Boston. Kuhl made 14 starts for the Pirates in 2016 going 5-4 with a 4.20 ERA. He had a strong spring and solidified his spot in the Pittsburgh rotation. Saturday will be Kuhl’s first career start against Atlanta.
Sunday, April 9, 1:35 p.m. ET (Fox Sports South)
The Braves haven’t announced a starter and will likely wait until they see if they run into any weather related issues on Friday. Julio Teheran would be in line to make this start for Atlanta after throwing six shutout innings on opening day.
Pittsburgh will counter with Gerrit Cole who allowed seven hits and five runs over five innings against Boston on opening day. Cole went 7-10 last season but posted a solid 3.88 ERA in 21 starts. The Braves have had no success against Cole who has posted a 3-0 mark against them with a 1.77 ERA in four career starts.