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Braves return to Truist Park for four-game series against Giants

Atlanta went 4-2 on its most recent road trip and is 5.5 games back of the Mets.

The Atlanta Braves avoided a sweep and ended their road trip on a good note with a 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs Sunday. Atlanta successfully snapped a brief two-game skid following their 14-game winning streak. The Braves are now 38-29 on the season and will enter Monday 5.5 games behind the New York Mets. It has been quite a turnaround for Atlanta, who entered June with a 23-27 record. Since then, they are 15-2 and have outscored their opponents 110-48. They will return home for a seven-game homestand which will begin Monday with a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.

The Braves will need to make a roster move before Monday’s game as teams must pare down their rosters to a maximum of 13 pitchers. Jesus Cruz appears to be the most likely candidate for demotion. It is unclear what position player the Braves might add to the roster. Whoever does get the call will likely be a placeholder until Eddie Rosario is ready to return from the injured list.

The Giants come into the series with a 37-28 record and have won seven of their last ten games. They suffered a walk-off loss on Sunday to the Pirates, but have won three straight series, which began with a three-game sweep of the Dodgers. They are currently in third place in the NL West, 3.5 games back of Los Angeles.

San Francisco ranks seventh in the league in runs scored and are tied for ninth with a 107 wRC+ as a team. Their starting rotation leads the majors with a 3.12 FIP while their bullpen is 10th, giving them an eighth-ranked pitching staff by fWAR. If there’s one thing they’ve sacrificed, it’s been defense, as they currently rank 29th in defensive value and have the third-biggest ERA-FIP gap in the majors. They have no regulars with positive defensive value after taking the positional adjustment into account.

Joc Pederson leads the team with 14 home runs and is hitting .267/.342/.552 with a 149 wRC+. They have received contributions from Thairo Estrada (105 wRC+) and Luis Gonzalez (131 wRC+) and just recently got Brandon Belt back from the Injured List. Mike Yastrzemski leads the team with 1.6 fWAR.

Monday, June 20, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

Logan Webb (13 GS, 78.2 IP, 21.2 K%, 6.2 BB%, 3.43 ERA, 3.08 FIP)

Giants right-hander Logan Webb will get the start in Monday’s opener and is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Webb allowed five hits and struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Royals. He has allowed three runs or less in 11 of his 13 starts this season. Webb has been tough on the Braves in his career, allowing just three runs combined in three starts.

Webb struggled a bit more than usual in May, with a 3.85 FIP and 3.25 xFIP, but has come back to dominating in June with 2.10 and 2.77, respectively. This won’t be an easy win to get.

Max Fried (13 GS, 80.2 IP, 23.1 K%, 4.0 BB%, 2.90 ERA, 2.80 FIP)

Max Fried will make his 14th start in the series opener and is looking to continue an All-Star worthy performance for the first half. Fried allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings in his last start against the Nationals. That was the most runs he has allowed since May 13 and bumped his June ERA to 2.29. Fried has walked just two batters the entire month and has 18 strikeouts over that span. He has five career appearances against the Giants and has a 2.05 ERA in 26 1/3 innings, albeit with a worse 3.76 FIP and 3.45 xFIP.

Tuesday, June 21, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

TBD

The Giants haven’t announced their starter for Tuesday’s game just yet. It will likely be left-hander Sam Long or possibly Anthony DeSclafani, who is currently on the injured List due to an ankle injury. Long has a good ERA/FIP but a not-so-great xFIP this season; DeSclafani has only made three starts with a horrid ERA despite fine peripherals.

Spencer Strider (15 G, 4 GS, 44.0 IP, 38.6 K%, 11.9 BB%, 2.45 ERA, 2.07 FIP)

The fifth starter had been a problem for the Braves the entire season, but Spencer Strider has quieted those concerns. Strider will make his fifth start of the season Tuesday and is coming off a good performance in Washington where he allowed just one hit and two runs to go along with a career-high 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. In four starts, Strider has a 2.75 ERA and a 2.83 FIP while averaging more than 14 strikeouts per nine innings.

Wednesday, June 22, 7:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South)

Carlos Rodon (13 GS, 73.0 IP, 30.5 K%, 9.1 BB%, 2.84 ERA, 2.51 FIP)

Left-hander Carlos Rodon will get the nod for the Giants Wednesday. Rodon has been one of the best signings of the offseason and he has been downright dominant in June, with enough fWAR to put him firmly in the Cy Young Award conversation (along with Kyle Wright and Fried, and others). He allowed just two hits and struck out eight over eight scoreless innings in his last start against the Pirates. He hasn’t allowed a run in two starts and has allowed more than two runs in a game just twice this season. Wednesday will be Rodon’s first career start against Atlanta.

Charlie Morton (13 GS, 67.1 IP, 25.3 K%, 8.8 BB%, 5.08 ERA, 4.25 FIP)

Charlie Morton needed a good outing and he delivered in his last start, where he allowed just three hits and struck out nine over seven shutout innings against the Cubs. It has been a tough season overall for Morton, but there are some encouraging signs in June. Morton has 29 strikeouts and just four walks in his last three starts combined (18 innings). He has faced the Giants 14 times in his career and has a 2.55 ERA in 88 1/3 innings, albeit with a 3.86 FIP and 4.22 xFIP.

Thursday, June 23, 12:20 p.m. ET (Bally Sports South, MLB Network)

Alex Wood (13 GS, 66.2 IP, 22.8 K%, 6.4 BB%, 4.32 ERA, 3.29 FIP)

Former Brave Alex Wood will get the call for the Giants in Thursday’s series finale. Wood has been a consistent option for San Francisco and will be making his 14th start. He allowed six hits and four runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Pirates the last time out. That was the first time in four starts that he had allowed more than three runs. Wood has faced the team that drafted him seven times in his career and has a 3.89 ERA, 4.67 FIP, and 4.67 xFIP in 34 2/3 innings.

Kyle Wright (13 GS, 79.2 IP, 27.4 K%, 8.1 BB%, 2.94 ERA, 2.71 FIP)

The Braves will go with Kyle Wright in the finale Thursday. Wright will be looking to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the season where he allowed a career-high 11 hits and five runs in six innings against the Cubs. It was just the second time this season that Wright allowed more than three runs in a start. The thing is, those bad numbers were just on the surface, as Wright had a downright elite 0.97 FIP and 1.70 xFIP in the game. He’ll hope for better results against the Giants, and there’s probably not a high chance he gets BABIPed to the same degree again. Wright made a relief appearance against the Giants back in 2019 and allowed two hits and a run in one inning.