When I started prep work for the 4-game Braves vs. Pirates series preview, I was shocked to find out the Braves are 6-4 in their last 10. It has seemed much worse, especially when scrolling through X, which is still twitter.com even when it’s X.com. The Braves comes in at 70-39 and still has the best record in the bigs, but as odd as it is to say, the Baltimore Orioles are now right on their tails at 70-42. What a world. The Pirates come in at 50-61 and that’s pretty wild considering they were 20-9 in the season’s first month.
Braves vs. Pirates Pitching Matchups
On paper and just looking at the SPs, the Braves have a fairly large advantage in games 1,3, & 4 and this would be a great series to take all 4 and put some extra cushion in the quest for a World Series ring.
When They Come Back
Alex Anthopoulos has buried himself firmly in “good problems” territory with his acquisitions, especially in the relief core. In the past month, AA has acquired pitchers Yonny Chirinos, Pierce Johnson, and Brad Hand. They have also activated and IL’d Daysbel Hernandez. Currently, the Braves have Kolby Allard, Nick Anderson, Jesse Chavez, Dylan Lee, Tyler Matzek, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa, and Ehire Adrianza on the 60-day IL. Of that group, the Braves hope that Wright, Lee, Anderson, and Chavez come back before season’s end, but who do they replace?
Let’s get the easy one out of the way. If Kyle Wright is activated and all of the SPs are healthy, Chirinos will get the boot. However, from there, it’s not easy, especially considering the lack of options.
- Joe Jimenez? Heck no.
- Raisel Iglesias? Heck no.
- Pierce Johnson? Heck no.
- Brad Hand? LHP and has a club option. Highly unlikely.
- Collin McHugh? Maybe, but that option for next year would be hard to turn down.
- A.J. Minter? Of course not.
- Michael Tonkin? Maybe, but he’s really cheap and has been great this season in multiple innings.
- Kirby Yates? His peripherals scream fluke but he’s carried a 2.88 ERA since May. Also has cheap 2024 option.
Here’s my pecking order: McHugh, Yates, Tonkin. That’s it.
My hope is that Lee is optioned to AAA until an injury occurs, Chavez takes his time and preps for the playoffs, and Anderson is released.