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Braves look to keep it going against the Reds in Cincinnati

Kevin Gausman will look to continue his good start to the 2019 season in Tuesday’s series opener.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves will continue their road trip on Tuesday when they open up a three-game series in Cincinnati against the Reds. Atlanta comes in with a bit of momentum after winning two straight in Cleveland. The Braves began the road trip after dropping three straight at home to the Diamondbacks. A rain out in the opener forced a doubleheader on Saturday where they fell in Game 1, 8-4. They quickly fell behind 7-0 in Game 2 but rallied late with a five-run ninth to snap their losing skid with an 8-7 win. Josh Donaldson homered twice and Max Fried turned in another solid performance in the series finale on Sunday to help Atlanta take home an 11-5 win.

The Reds come into the series with an 8-13 record and having just finished a seven-game west coast trip. Cincinnati was swept in a three-game set by the Dodgers but came back to take 3 of 4 in San Diego. First baseman Joey Votto sat out the final two games of the road trip with back tightness but the hope is that he will be ready to go on Tuesday. The Reds acquired outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig from the Dodgers this offseason but both have gotten off to slow starts at the plate. Kemp is hitting .200/.210/.283 with a wRC+ of 22 in 20 games so far this season. Puig somehow has been even worse putting together a .164/.186/.299 line and a wRC+ of 18 through 19 games.

Here is a look at the pitching matchups for the series:

Tuesday, April 23, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Kevin Gausman (2019: 3 GS, 19.2 IP, 31.0 K%, 8.5 BB%, 2.75 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.42 xFIP)

After battling a sore shoulder throughout the spring, Kevin Gausman has put together a solid start for the Braves. He is coming off his best outing of the season in which he allowed just three hits and two runs while striking out 10 over seven innings against the Diamondbacks. Gausman has gone at least seven innings in 2 of his 3 starts this season.

Sonny Gray (2019: 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 29.0 K%, 7.9 BB%, 2.79 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 3.09 xFIP)

The Reds acquired Sonny Gray from the Yankees this offseason and then quickly locked him up with an extension. So far, it looks like a change of scenery has served Gray well as he is off to a good start with his new team. He allowed two hits, three runs and struck out nine over six innings in his last start against the Dodgers.

Wednesday, April 24, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Mike Soroka (2019: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 25.0 K%, 8.3 BB%, 1.80 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.86 xFIP)

Mike Soroka made his 2019 season debut last week when he allowed just four hits and one run over five innings against Arizona. Soroka wasn’t as sharp as we have seen in the past but worked himself out of two jams to give the Braves a chance. There was a question whether he would remain in the big leagues to make another start but was impressive enough that he will get another opportunity.

Tanner Roark (2019: 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 23.0 K%, 9.2 BB%, 3.60 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 4.35 xFIP)

Pitching hasn’t been the problem for the Reds as they will enter Tuesday’s series opener with the fourth best pitching staff fWAR in the league at 3.7. After being cast off by the Nationals, Tanner Roark has put together a solid start to the season for Cincinnati. Roark has allowed just two runs over his last 10 2/3 innings. He allowed four hits, one run and struck out five in his last start against the Padres.

Thursday, April 25, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Julio Teheran (2019: 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 24.8 K%, 12.0 BB%, 5.61 ERA, 5.01 FIP, 4.55 xFIP)

The Braves have not yet officially announced their starter for Thursday but it will likely be Julio Teheran who last pitched in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader in Cleveland. Teheran lasted just 4 2/3 innings allowing seven hits, four walks and five runs. His overall numbers have been skewed a bit by a couple of rough recent performances. His stuff is no longer overpowering and Teheran has to rely on his command which he struggled with against the Indians.

Anthony DeSclafani (2019: 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 26.2 K%, 9.5 BB%, 5.59 ERA, 5.58 FIP, 4.58 xFIP)

The Reds will go with right-hander Anthony DeSclafani in the series finale on Thursday. DeScalafani got hit hard early on but is coming off his best start of the season where he allowed just two hits and one run over six innings against the Padres. Before that start he had allowed 10 runs in his last 8 1/3 innings.

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