Following a split of a four-game series against the Mets in New York, the Braves are back home and set to take on tough competition again — this time in the form of the Milwaukee Brewers.
As expected, the Braves are going with a bullpen game tonight as Jesse Chavez will be the first pitcher on the mound for Atlanta. The best case scenario here is that Chavez gets through two innings without a lot of trouble and maybe gets deep into the third inning before passing the baton to, say, Spencer Strider. Either way, it’s a task that Chavez appears to be fully capable of — he’s gone at least two innings in four of his eight appearances this season and he hasn’t had an earned run on his record since April 16, which is when he was having his incredibly short stint with the Cubs. Simply put, Chavez appears to be the most reliable option when it comes to a bullpen game and he’s a perfect candidate to hopefully get the ball rolling in the right direction for the Braves on the mound tonight.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s lineup appears to have three clear danger threats and the first one in mind is Willy Adames. Adames has been having a wonderful time in Milwaukee since getting traded there from Tampa Bay — he’s been worth 4.7 fWAR to the Brewers since the trade and he’s picked up where he left of last year in terms of being a threat at the plate. His wRC+ of 148 is currently 13 points higher than where he finished last season and he’s doing this with a BABIP (.250) that is much lower than where it was last year (.349), so he appears to be the real deal, folks. Rowdy Tellez continues to display light-tower power with his bat and Christian Yelich has apparently resurrected himself and he looks more like the normal Yelich this season than the shell that was running around in blue-and-yellow last season.
Milwaukee’s calling card is their pitching, though, and they will have a pretty good one starting for them tonight in the form of Eric Lauer. After making two solid-but-unspectacular starts for the Brewers to start off his season, Lauer suddenly turned into The Human Torch over his past two starts. He’s only given up one run over his past two starts (and he’s only surrendered two runs over his most recent 19 innings), and he’s racked up double-digit strikeouts in each of those last two outings — 13 in the first start against the Phillies and then 11 more against the Cubs in his last time out. He’s also balanced this with just one walk in each of those two starts and the only run he gave up was due to Yan Gomes basically going down and golfing one over the fence. To keep things brutally honest here, if Lauer continues that form then the Braves might be in for a rough night at the plate.
With that being said, this lineup (even while scuffling) has still shown flashes both in the present in the past that shows that they can light up any pitcher at any given time. That’s going to need to be the case here this evening, as the bullpen could need a decent amount of help. The Braves have a good bullpen that’s totally capable of taking on a task like this but Milwaukee’s pitching staff is just as tough. Assuming Atlanta’s bullpen does keep them in it, this could be a nervy one heading into the latter stages of the game. As usual, all we can do as fans is hope for the best and cheer the team on.
Game Date/Time: Friday, May 6, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan