After a thorough thumping of Pittsburgh on Friday, the Braves are hoping to get a solid start out of Dylan Dodd. That might be too much to ask from the rookie, who has started five games at the major league level this season, amounting to a 7.66 FIP, although with one good start in there against St. Louis. Dodd has also struggled at triple-A this season (5.74 FIP), although not quite as badly as in the majors. That being said, the Braves may not need much more than non-disastrous innings out of Dodd against Oviedo and a Pirates’ bullpen that isn’t particularly special either.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are starting Johan Oviedo, who is a pretty uninspiring option in his own right, although a bit more of a known commodity than Dodd. Oviedo’s FIP, xFIP, and xERA are all in the mid-upper 4s, which is not great, but over 158.0 innings has presented some value. He is a ground-ball pitcher with a sub-par strikeout rate, a pretty high walk rate, and a fairly average home run rate. He does have two solid breaking balls, but his primary four-seamer gets hit pretty hard. Oviedo isn’t bringing anything to the table that should scare Atlanta’s tremendous hitters.
Ronald Acuna is absolutely on one right now and is back on pace for a 40-40 (or 40-70) season after a flurry of homers. It would be lovely to see him continue his homer binge on Saturday against a fairly soft target in Oviedo. Matt Olson is also on a tear and could take advantage of the Pirates’ pitching as he continues to chase the franchise record for home runs in a season. Elsewhere in the lineup, we may see Austin Riley return to the lineup after missing a few games with an illness.
Saturday, September 9, 2023
7:20 pm EDT
Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bankruptcy Sports Southeast, MLB Network
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, La Mejor 1600/1460/1130 AM
XM Radio: Ch. 180