The roller coaster that is Julio Teheran’s season continues this Monday, as he faces the Marlins for the second time in a week - this time, at home.
The Marlins come to town after doing some good work against the Nationals, splitting a four-game series. This keeps the NL East paper champs under .500 for the season, and devoid of any momentum. High-five Marlins, great job!
However, the accolades for Miami will end there, as the Braves will try to build off Sean Newcomb’s near no-no yesterday against the Dodgers. If there was ever a time for this Braves team to take off into the stratosphere, it’s now, with its next 11 games against division rivals with losing records - Marlins, Mets, and Nationals. The Braves have posted a stellar 29-16 record against its NL East brethren, which is a trend that will need to continue for Atlanta to walk away with the division crown.
With Teheran’s eternal quest to keep things interesting for the Braves, there is generally a tentative feeling when he is slated to take the mound. With the exception of a two-start run against the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks leading up to the All-Star break, he has spent the last two years alternating between reliable and abysmal.
Even with the Braves’ recent struggles, they still find themselves merely 1½ games out of first place. This is the perfect time to build up some traction. Between Newcomb’s (almost) brush with history yesterday, a series against a Marlins team the Braves have dominated for much of this season, any number of possible trade deadline additions, and a companion series in which the NL East leading Phillies will face a brutal Red Sox squad, a perfect storm could be brewing that gets the Braves back on track.
Another factor in this potentially perfect storm is the chance for some revenge against Wei-Yin Chen, who has kept the Braves’ bats quiet twice this season - once while Teheran was getting shelled last Tuesday afternoon, and the other on May 20, the day the Braves mounted their furious 6-run 9th inning comeback - a game which Teheran also started. Overall, the Braves are slashing .266/.333/.445/.778 against southpaws this year, and Chen has posted an unsightly 3-7 record with a 5.65 ERA / 4.83 FIP. It’s time for some payback.
Date/Time: Monday, July 30, 7:35 p.m. ET
Location: SunTrust Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network