After this weekend’s sweep of the Cardinals, the Braves’ current 10-game road stretch is off to a good start. They will look to continue their winning ways as they head to New York battle the Yankees. While the bullpen did its best to increase the collective blood pressure of all who watched the late innings of the Atlanta-St. Louis series, the Braves still managed to come away with 3 straight victories in a brutal environment.
As demonstrated over the past several weeks, the Braves have played well against teams with good records all season, and struggled against sub-.500 teams. Now, Atlanta will try and continue these head-scratching reverse splits against a ridiculously stacked Yankees lineup. Anibal Sanchez returns to the mound tonight after leaving his last start with calf cramps. If he is to successfully navigate the buzzsaw that is the Yankees offense, he will need to demonstrate pinpoint control and Bugs Bunny-esque movement on his pitches.
This series will not be easy, but the Braves have the advantage of missing Luis Severino, and could potentially benefit from facing 23-year old rookie Jonathan Loaisiga in his fourth MLB start. He started the year in Tampa with the Yankees’ High-A affiliate, and is yet to see an offense quite like Atlanta’s. Despite a strong start (2-0, 1.93 ERA / 2.25 FIP, 11.57 K/9), Loaisiga has yet to go more then 5⅓ innings in a start, and is averaging over 5 walks per 9 innings.
The Braves are a respectable 25-17 on the road, but the Yankees are 31-12 at home.
It is not absurd to expect some form of reinforcement in the Braves bullpen, as they are collectively overtaxed from this weekend’s exploits, and have obviously struggled throughout the season. Arodys Vizcaino could rejoin the team soon, and there are several reliable options waiting in the wings down in Gwinnett.
Date: Monday, July 2, 2018
Time: 7:05 pm EDT
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
TV: Fox Sports Southeast, MLB Network (out of market), MLB.tv
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network