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Atlanta Braves Host Defending World Series Champions’ San Francisco Giants: Series Preview

June 14th, 2013 at 8:57 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves got beat up a little on their week-long 2-5 road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego, but they now finally get to come back to Turner Field, where they'll play 14 of their next 19 games. To start that streak, the Braves welcome the San Francisco Giants for a three-game series starting Friday.

The Braves enter play with a 5-5 record in their last 10, but so do the Washington Nationals, who sit 5 1/2 games back in the National League East. The Giants are 3 1/2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.

Who's chopping:

One would be surprised at who the Braves' on-base percentage leaders are for the month of June. They're Dan Uggla (.429), Jason Heyward (.408) and B.J. Upton (.381). Sabermetrics says the key stat in determining the probability of a win is OBP, so those guys, according to that school of thought, have done the most for the Braves so far this month.

Justin Upton went 5-for-13 (.385) in three games against the Padres and on Wednesday hit his first homer since May 17. He entered that series hitting .179 in his last 22 games.

The Giants have the second best National League batting average (.272), but rank just behind the Braves for sixth in runs. They're obviously a differently built offense; they've only hit 48 home runs compared to the Braves' 89.

Buster Posey unsurprisingly is second on the Giants with a .306 average, but he's been particularly hot in his last 10 games, hitting to the tune of .357.

Who's flopping:

Third base for the Braves has been a production black hole this month. Ramiro Pena is hitting .118, but Chris Johnson isn't doing much better at .222.

Kris Medlen has pitched well, as evidenced by his 2.87 ERA. The issue, which shows up in his 3-6 record, is that the 3.07 runs per game the Braves are giving up are seventh worst in the National League.

Julio Teheran, who carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning on June 5, was shelled by the San Diego Padres for five runs in his last start. It should be interesting to see whether he reverts to his early-season struggles or comes back to the Teheran who had six straight quality starts.

Tim Lincecum is a shell of his former self. The former two-time Cy Young winner has given up at least five runs five times in his 13 starts.

The Giants have a slew of starters on the disabled list, including Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan, Ryan Vogelsong and Marco Scutaro. When three of a team's eight starting hitters are out, it's hard to be productive.

Friday, 7:30 on Fox Sports South: Braves RH Kris Medlen (3-6, 2.87 ERA) vs LH Madison Bumgarner (5-4, 3.58)

Saturday, 4:05 on Fox Sports South: LH Mike Minor (8-2, 2.44 ERA) vs RH Chad Gaudin (2-1, 2.32 ERA)

Sunday, 8:05 on ESPN: RH Julio Teheran (4-3, 3.62 ERA) vs RH Tim Lincecum (4-6, 4.70 ERA)


Photo credit: SD Dirk / / CC BY

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Buster Posey, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Kris Medlen, Madison Bumgarner, MLB, San Francisco Giants

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