The Atlanta Braves reduced their magic number to just one with a 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process. They will wrap their final regular season homestand this weekend with a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants come into the series with a 74-79 record that places them third in the NL West. They had a three-game winning streak snapped on Thursday with a 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox. San Francisco is 5-5 over their last 10 and 8-9 so far in September. They had a great run in July (19-6), but are just 19-27 since. The Braves took three of four in San Francisco back in late May.
Atlanta has announced its starters for the first two games of the series. If they stick to the same order they’ve used previously, Dallas Keuchel would go on Sunday. However, if the Braves clinch the division before the series finale, they may opt to adjust their rotation somewhat to give an extra day of rest to their starters and to start aligning their rotation for the NLDS.
Friday, September 20, 7:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports South)
Tyler Beede (2019: 22 G, 20 GS, 107.2 IP, 20.8 K%, 9.1 BB%, 5.02 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 4.77 xFIP, 119 ERA-, 122 FIP-)
Right-hander Tyler Beede will get the start for the Giants in Friday’s series opener. Beede has struggled for most of the season but has put together a solid stretch of late. He has allowed a total of four earned runs in his last four starts. He enters Friday having not allowed a run over his last 11 1⁄3 innings. He allowed four hits and struck out five over five shutout innings against the Dodgers two starts ago. He allowed just three hits over 6 1⁄3 scoreless innings in his last start against the Marlins. Beede was terrible for six straight outings prior to his nice run, so it remains to be seen whether he can keep his success rolling into Atlanta. This will be his first career appearance against the Braves.
Mike Foltynewicz (2019: 19 GS, 105.0 IP, 20.8 K%, 7.8 BB%, 4.80 ERA, 5.10 FIP, 4.85 xFIP, 107 ERA-, 116 FIP-)
The Braves will counter with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz,who is in a good stretch of his own. Foltynewicz is trying to earn a spot in Atlanta’s postseason rotation and has been strong down the stretch. He has allowed a total of two runs over his last three starts and has allowed two runs or fewer in six straight outings. He allowed four hits and one run over six strong innings in his last start against the Nationals. After allowing 16 homers prior to his demotion to Triple-A in just 11 starts, Foltynewicz has yielded only five in eight starts since, and two of those came in his first game back. He’s allowed just one longball over his last four outings.
Saturday, September 21, 7:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports South)
Johnny Cueto (2019: 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 16.7 K%, 8.3 BB%, 0.00 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 4.51 xFIP, 0 ERA-, 69 FIP-)
Johnny Cueto will make his third start of the season for the Giants on Saturday. Cueto recently rejoined the San Francisco rotation following Tommy John surgery. He so far has put together two scoreless performances. He allowed one hit and struck out four over five scoreless innings in his debut against the Pirates. He then allowed three hits over five shutout innings last time out against the Marlins. The Braves will be his biggest test to date. One of the majors’ best pitchers during the middle of the decade, Cueto had a career year immediately after signing a $130 million, six-year deal with the Giants, but has struggled to stay healthy and effective since. He’s thrown around 200 innings in his last three seasons combined, and has been average at best since his great 2016.
Max Fried (2019: 31 G, 29 GS, 156.2 IP, 24.8 K%, 6.9 BB%, 4.25 ERA, 3.81 FIP, 3.34 xFIP, 95 ERA-, 86 FIP-)
One starter that might benefit from an extra day of rest is Max Fried, who is scheduled to start opposite of Cueto on Saturday. Fried has been knocked around in his last two starts, allowing 13 hits and 10 runs in just 7 1⁄3 innings. The Nationals battered him for six hits and five runs in just 2 1⁄3 innings last Sunday, his shortest non-injury-abridged outing of the season. Prior to the little skid, however, he had one of the best outings of his career, dominating the Nationals for seven one-hit, zero-walk innings. Fried allowed four hits and two runs over six innings in a win over the Giants back on May 22.
Sunday, September 22, 1:20 p.m. ET (Fox Sports South)
Logan Webb (2019: 6 GS, 27.2 IP, 19.4 K%, 8.5 BB%, 6.51 ERA, 4.59 FIP, 4.00 xFIP, 154 ERA-, 109 FIP-)
Right-hander Logan Webb will make his seventh start of the season for San Francisco on Sunday. Webb allowed three hits and three runs over five innings in his last outing against Boston. He has allowed three runs or more in four of his six starts this season. He has struggled away from home allowing 22 hits and 15 earned runs in just 17 1⁄3 innings on the road. While he hasn’t been good, his ERA is inflated due an outing where the Giants let him get torched for eight runs against the Cardinals; he’s generally been mediocre otherwise. Webb has pitched at four different professional levels this year, from A-ball to the majors.
Dallas Keuchel (2019: 17 GS, 101.2 IP, 19.1 K%, 7.6 BB%, 3.63 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 3.91 xFIP, 81 ERA-, 104 FIP-)
Dallas Keuchel was in the midst of his best stretch of the season before a hiccup in his last start. Keuchel allowed four earned runs over six starts from August 14 through September 11. He was tagged for eight hits and five runs, including two homers in five innings last time out against the Phillies.