The American League gauntlet continues on for the Atlanta Braves, who will be going into Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas looking to snap an uncharacteristically-long losing streak by trying to open up a new series with a win over the Texas Rangers.
The most interesting development for tonight’s contest is the fact that the Rangers are calling up Cody Bradford so that he can make his major league debut in tonight’s game. Bradford will be making the transition from Triple-A after seven impressive starts so far this year — he’s currently on a 0.93 ERA and 3.55 FIP and there’s been a decent amount of anticipation for him to eventually make an appearance in the bigs and now appears to be the time to see what he’s got as a big leaguer.
With that being said, this is going to be a very tough task for Cody Bradford. If you’re a left-handed pitcher making your debut in MLB, the Braves might be one of the last teams that you’d want to see right out of the gate. Atlanta currently leads the National League in team wRC+ against left-handed pitchers (152) and aren’t too far behind Tampa Bay (156) for the overall lead in baseball. The Braves have crushed left-handed pitching so far during this season and while a new pitcher could bring up all types of different results, the big hope tonight is that Atlanta gives Bradford a very rude welcome to MLB and figures him out before he can get a chance to get settled in and get his confidence up.
Meanwhile, Charlie Morton is getting the ball for the Braves and at this point, all that’s being asked of him is that he can get at least six innings deep into the game while keeping the Braves in it. Morton has made it into the sixth inning in six of his past seven starts and it would be a sight for sore eyes if he was able to pull it off. The offense finally showed a significant amount of life in the series finale in Toronto after they were largely quiet for the first two games of that series — if they can continue to get the bats going against an inexperienced opponent and Morton can put in another solid start, then a win could be right there for the taking.
Morton himself doesn’t have too much experience against any of the Rangers — as you would expect since he’s spent the past three seasons in the National League and has spent all but four seasons in his career pitching in the Senior Circuit. For what it’s worth, Marcus Semien has a .353 batting average over 17 at-bats against Charlie Morton in his career, but that’s the only real sample size that’s worth talking about. While the Braves did visit Globe Life Field last season, this is still an extremely unfamiliar matchup between these two clubs.
The Braves are heading into this game having lost four straight and the Rangers have won four out of five. As a result, the two clubs are now entering this game with the same record while going in different directions in the extreme short term. Obviously, we’re all hoping that the Braves are able to finally put an end to this skid and get back on the right path, and the pitching matchup seems favorable enough for Atlanta. It’s all a matter of putting that weird series in Toronto behind them and focusing on what should be a solid opportunity to get back on winning terms tonight.
Game Date/Time : Monday, May 15, 8:05 PM E.T.
Location: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
TV: Bally Sports South
Listen: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan