Remember when the Braves were supposed to begin their sell-off that would see Jaime Garcia in a Twins uniform and Aaron Blair starting for the Braves tonight? Yeah, as it turns out, that’s not going to happen at the moment. Jaime Garcia will make the start as scheduled tonight as the Braves look to pick up a split against the Dodgers.
Just to update, #Braves still talking to a number of clubs and there's "no deal" with #Twins on Jaime Garcia.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 21, 2017
Now that Jaime Garcia will be starting for the Braves this evening, this will probably end up being a showcase of sorts for any potential trade suitors. With that being said, there are definitely better clubs to have a showcase against than the team that’s been going on an absolute tear for the past month or so. The good news is that the Braves did show that the Dodgers are indeed mortal after they managed to clip Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium of all places.
Something interesting to note is that LA’s batters don’t have a wealth of experience against Garcia. Chase Utley’s had 13 plate appearances against the veteran and he’s only hitting .222 against him. That’s not to say that Garcia’s going to have an easy time against the Dodgers — nobody’s going to have a breeze against that particular lineup. It’ll just be interesting to see how or if the Dodgers can adjust to what Garcia will throw at them tonight.
However, the task for the Braves’ bats will be much more difficult tonight, as our old friend Alex Wood will be taking the mound for Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw deservedly gets all of the plaudits for being the ace of LA’s strong rotation, but you can make a strong argument for Wood being just as good during the 2017 campaign. He’ll be heading into tonight’s contest with a 1.56 ERA and a 2.04 FIP over 86.2 innings, and his peripheral stats are definitely on par with Kershaw’s stats so far this season. Unless Wood has an uncharacteristic off-night, the Braves are going to be in for tough sledding against their former comrade.
Just like the current Dodgers haven’t seen much of Jaime Garcia, the current crop of Braves haven’t seen too much of Alex Wood. Matt Kemp and Ender Inciarte have done well against Wood in their limited time against him, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up that short track record against Wood.
It was definitely lovely seeing the Braves manage to take a game against a scorching-hot Dodgers team, and getting a split at Dodgers Stadium when, going into this series, Los Angeles hadn’t lost there since June would be a thrill. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but the Braves have a shot at picking up two big wins in a row tonight.
Game Date/Time: Friday, July 19, 2017, 10:10 pm ET
Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Fox Sports South
Radio: 680 AM, 93.7 FM , WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network