Aug 14, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates preview: Aaron Harang vs. Francisco Liriano

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UPDATE: The Braves have released their lineup for Tuesday evening’s game, and it includes Phil Gosselin at second base. In addition, Pittsburgh will be blessed with the return of All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

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The Atlanta Braves started their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on the right foot, taking the first game by a final score of 7-3. Today, the Braves will look to take the series and continue their efforts to close the gap on the Washington Nationals in the NL East.

The Pitching Match-up:

Aaron Harang has quietly continued to be a solid starter for the Braves, and is getting the nod in this one. He’s coming off of a pretty rough outing against the Dodgers (4.1 IP, 5 R, 3 BB, 3K), but on the season his numbers are solid. He’s got a 3.51 ERA and a 3.74 FIP to go along with a 4.28 xFIP that says he’s been a bit lucky in his HR/FB numbers. Looking at those, it looks like xFIP is spot on as Harang is allowing just 6.1 percent of fly balls to go over the fence while his career number is 10.2 percent.

Francisco Liriano has been equally solid this year despite a 3-9 record that would appear to say otherwise. (Really though, at this point win/loss records should be meaningless when dealing with pitchers.)  He’s got a 3.78 ERA, 3.75 FIP and 3.40 xFIP while striking out 9.68 batters per nine and walking 4.25 per nine. The walks are a bit scary, and are definitely making life more difficult for him, but even with them he’s been a quality starter for the Pirates.

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The Particulars:

Date: August 19, 2014

Start Time: 7:05 pm ET

TV Channel: SportSouth

Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates

Live Stream: MLB.tv (Click Here, $)

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The Predictions:

Before we offer our predictions for today, here’s a look at our records to this point:

  • Carlos: 10-6
  • Brad: 7-9

The pitching matchup in yesterday’s opener was much easier to predict than today’s, but I still feel confident in Atlanta’s recent hot streak and think Harang will be fine after the L.A. game. Brad on the other hand is going to go with Liriano and his (arguably) better peripherals.

Please feel free to sound off in the comments with your predictions for the game and feel free to rub it in our faces when you beat us on twitter (@ATLBeatBlog).

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Tags: Atlanta Braves

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