Bryce Elder looks to lead the Braves to another win. Elder has had a successful early career in the majors, but has benefitted significantly from facing bad lineups quite frequently. Elder’s stuff isn’t necessarily scintillating and his command has been inconsistent at times in the majors, but his ERA has been 2.58, his FIP is a quite solid 3.54 and his xFIP is a less impressive but still solid 4.05 so far in his major league career. The ERA and FIP seem largely driven by high left-on-base rates and a very low home run rate which isn’t in line with his minor league numbers, so let’s just say that I’m not buying into Elder being a mid-rotation level starter over a full season at this point in his development. With that being said, he seemingly has the ability to not kill you and set a solid floor in the absence of better options.
Meanwhile, the Royals will be sending Kris Bubic to the mound. A future top 100 pick, Bubic has had a pretty rough major league career. Now entering his fourth major league season, Bubic has never had a FIP or xFIP below 4.5, has never struck out more than 9 batters per 9 innings, and his lowest walk rate is 3.96 BB/9 through his first three seasons. He has had a good first two starts to his 2023 season, however. Here’s hoping the Braves can make this start more like his career baseline.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side, the top four of Acuna, Olson, Riley, and Murphy continue to absolutely rake. A recent addition to the lineup, Sam Hilliard has been impressing on both sides of the ball and has the tools to be an impact player, so it will be interesting to watch how he performs over a larger sample and see if he can displace Marcell Ozuna in the lineup on a longer term basis.
Atlanta Braves @ Kansas City Royals
Saturday, April 15, 2023
4:10 pm ET
Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
TV: Bankruptcy Sports Southeast, MLB Network
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan
XM Radio: Online, Ch. 183