Atlanta Braves Host St. Louis Cardinals for Final Series of 2015


This is the end, folks. The long dark night that was the 2015 season for the Atlanta Braves is coming to end this weekend against the NL best and Central division champions St. Louis Cardinals.

The Atlanta Braves are coming off a series victory over their division rival the Washington Nationals after losing 13 of the first 16 games against the Nats. The St. Louis Cardinals are newly minted NL Central Division Champions, and may rest a significant amount of their starters this weekend in anticipation of their divisional playoff series against either the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Chicago Cubs.

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Former Atlanta Braves right-field Jason Heyward returns to Atlanta after being traded this past offseason for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. J-Hey has had a good year at the plate for the Redbirds, possessing a slash of .292/.358/.439 for the Cards. Heyward also has 13 home-runs and 60 RBI’s. 

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Another storyline going into this series is if Shelby Miller can finally secure a win against his former club after going winless in his previous 24 starts, dating back to May 17th. In retrospect, it still seems as if the Atlanta Braves won their offseason trade with the Cardinals, as Shelby Miller has become Atlanta’s ace and is still under team control for 3 more years, whereas Heyward heads to free agency this offseason.

With the best team in the National League squaring off against the club with the second-worst record in baseball, a casual fan may not give the Atlanta Braves a shot in this series. But in the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend”. The Atlanta Braves could easily scrape together two wins in this series. They are playing good baseball lately, and with Mike Matheny most likely resting some of his players, it gives the Atlanta Braves an excellent opportunity to gain some confidence going into the offseason.

Here are the pitching matchups for this weekend’s series:


Jaime Garcia (10-5, 2.36 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (10-8, 4.16 ERA)

Jaime Garcia has pitched impressively for St. Louis this season, owning a 2.36 ERA. He will present a challenge for the Atlanta Braves lineup. Expect Freddie Gonzalez to stack the batting order with right-handed hitters.

Julio Teheran has done a remarkable job rebounding over the past month after struggling for much of the year. September was Teheran’s best month of the year, accruing a 1.91 ERA. Teheran’s return to All-Star form brings optimism for the Braves and their fans going into the 2016 season.


John Lackey (13-9, 2.69 ERA) vs. Shelby Miller (5-17, 3.15 ERA)

John Lackey is another Cardinals pitcher who has enjoyed a great season, benefiting from great run support and great defense.

Shelby Miller will attempt to snap at 24 game winless streak on Saturday and go into the offseason on a good note. Miller is fatigued, pitching 197.1 innings in 2015. Miller showed his exhaustion in last start at Miami, where he gave up 7 earned runs in 3.2 innings. Miller had a 7.11 ERA in the month of September.

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Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.06 ERA) vs. Matt Wisler (7-8, 5.11)

Matt Wisler toes the rubber for the Atlanta Braves in the finale of the 2015 season. The rookie has had an up and down year, but has show glimpses of dominance over the course of the past few weeks. In his last start against the Washington Nationals, Wisler gave up only 1 ER in 7 innings pitched. In 2 of his previous 3 starts, Wisler only allowed 2 ER. When pitching at home, Matt Wisler owns a 3.44 ERA.

It has been a long season for fans of the Atlanta Braves to be sure, but optimism continues to exist with this club that next season will be completely different from the debacle that was 2015. With the addition of some power bats, and a revamped bullpen, we could very well see the Atlanta Braves in a completely different position one year from today. No matter what, keep choppin’, Braves fans!

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