The Atlanta Braves head into Arizona on the tails of the Phillies in the NL East. Arizona has struggled lately, but are still within striking distance of the Dodgers in the NL West. Friday’s game features Julio Teheran on the mound for the Braves versus Zack Greinke for the Diamondbacks.
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The Braves are lead by Freddie Freeman, who has seven home runs and 21 RBI. Nick Markakis has the highest batting average on the team at .331. Ozzie Albies also has seven home runs and has knocked in 18. Ronald Acuna Jr and Dansby Swanson each have hit six balls in the seats, while veteran Josh Donaldson had added five long balls to the attack. As a team, the Braves are averaging 5.1 runs per game.
The Diamondbacks have relied on the long ball, having launched 52 home runs and are averaging 5.4 runs per game. Ketel Marte has paced the team with nine home runs and 26 RBI. Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker have launched seven home runs, providing a potent power trio. Veteran Adam Jones, in his first season with the team, has six home runs and 19 RBI and David Peralta is batting .312 with five home runs.
Teheran is off to a slow start with a 2-4 record and 4.63 ERA. He’s struck out 48 in 44 2/3 innings but has been hurt with the long ball, giving up eight home runs. A.J. Minter has struggled out of the bullpen, allowing nine earned runs in 10 2/3 innings. Luke Jackson, Josh Tomlin and Sean Newcomb have been solid, allowing 15 earned runs in 45 innings. The Braves have allowed an average of 4.7 runs per game.
Greinke has done very well so far this season for the Diamondbacks, pitching to a 3.42 ERA in 50 innings pitched. He’s struck out one per inning but has been occasionally hurt by the long ball, surrendering eight home runs. The back end of the bull pen has been excellent. Yoan Lopez has allowed only one earned run in 13 1/3 innings and closer Greg Holland has eight saves and a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings. Arizona has allowed an average of 4.8 runs per game.
The teams combine to allow around the league average in terms of runs and are a bit above average in scoring. If better the over/under, it’s a tough call but lean towards the under, thinking Teheran will put forth a strong effort. The Diamondbacks have the edge playing at home and Greinke has been the better pitcher. Go with the Diamondbacks in a close game to keep pace with the Dodgers in the NL West.