Braves (13-4) at Pirates (9-8)
1:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Pirates go for a series win an 3 of 4 against the Braves this afternoon, which would be quite an accomplishment. Even if they lose and split the series, I’ll happily take that result considering the facts that the Braves were playing incredible ball coming in to Pittsburgh and that the Bucs did not use AJ Burnett in the series. The Pirates are 6-2 on their current homestand that pitted them against three of the NL’s top teams, and a victory today would be a wonderful way to finish it off.
Kris Medlen (1-1, 1.42) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (0-2, 12.96)
Welp. Fun matchup here. Medlen was phenomenal down the stretch for the Braves last year and is off to a strong start this season as well, although his previous two starts came against the Marlins and Royals. The Bucs have been getting it done at the plate lately against some tough pitching, and they will have to do so again today.
The rainout on Tuesday allowed the Bucs to skip Sanchez for a turn in the rotation, which was probably a very good thing. He had allowed two quick St. Louis runs in the first inning of that game, although the Bucs responded with a 4-spot and Sanchez tossed a scoreless second inning before the rains came. He is not to be trusted at all against a strong offense (or any offense). The good news is that his days in the rotation are probably numbered with Francisco Liriano (and Charlie Morton) now pitching in minor league rehab starts. (Liriano made his second start yesterday in Altoona, and it didn’t go too well…but regardless, he’ll be welcomed in to the rotation after two more starts.)
Bucs vs. Medlen: Nobody has more than 8 AB’s against him.
Braves vs. Sanchez: Justin Upton has homered off him twice.