Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood (40) talks to catcher Evan Gattis (24) against the Oakland Athletics in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Pittsburgh Pirates preview: Alex Wood vs. Gerrit Cole

After back-to-back lopsided victories to begin the series, the Atlanta Braves are suddenly playing some of their best baseball of the season. On Wednesday evening, the Braves will complete their three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and to highlight the festivities, each team will be trotting out a quality young pitcher.

The Pitching Match-up:

Left-hander Alex Wood has been a revelation since rejoining the starting rotation for the Braves, and that was again evident in his last outing, as he shut down the A’s to the tune of two earned runs through six quality innings. In Wood’s last four starts, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer while pitching six or more innings, and for the season, the 23-year-old now possesses a 3.07 ERA. In other words, he is very good.

In opposition, the Pirates will trot out former top draft pick Gerrit Cole, and the young right-hander has also been quite effective this season despite some injury concerns. The 23-year-old Cole has a 3.78 ERA for the year, but he has struck out nearly a batter per inning across 14 starts, and in his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies, Cole navigated five shutout innings while allowing just one hit. It will be interesting to see what his pitch count looks like after throwing only 80 offerings in his last start, but Cole can be dominant.

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The Particulars:

Date: August 20, 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: 10-7
  • Brad: 7-10

After both (incorrectly) siding with the Pirates and Francisco Liriano on Tuesday, Carlos will once again be backing Gerrit Cole and the home team in this game. In an attempt to make up some ground (and because I think Alex Wood is tremendous), I will be picking the Braves, and the gap will be smaller or larger at this time tomorrow.

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).

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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