As winners of their last 5 games, Atlanta starts Memorial day only a half game back of Philadelphia in the NL East. Coincidentally the Braves and Phillies start a 3 game series today at 1:05pm et at Turner Field. This series is going to separate the men from the boys, and I fully expect Atlanta to live up to the recent hype. Both teams are actually very similar from top to bottom, but Atlanta has an advantage in 7 different positions.
Philadelphia @ Atlanta
Game #1: Tommy Hanson (4-3) 4.06 era VS Joe Blanton (1-3) 5.63 era
Game #2: Tim Hudson (5-1) 2.24 era VS Cole Hamels (5-3) 3.82 era
Game #3: Derek Lowe (7-4) 4.86 era VS Kyle Kendrick (3-2) 5.04 era
1B: Troy Glaus (.269 7 HR 34 RBI) VS Ryan Howard (.288 8 HR 33 RBI)
2B: Martin Prado (.325 4 HR 26 RBI) VS Chase Utely ( .277 10 HR 24 RBI)
3B: Chipper Jones (.243 2 HR 19 RBI) VS Greg Dobbs (.133 1 HR 5 RBI)
SS: Yunel Escobar (.203 0 HR 10 RBI) VS Wilson Valdez (.250 0 HR 5 RBI)
C: Brian McCann (.263 5 HR 18 RBI) VS Carlos Ruiz (.298 2HR 11 RBI)
LF: Eric Hinske (.329 4 HR 20 RBI) VS Raul Ibanez (.245 3 HR 21 RBI)
CF: Nate McLouth (.184 3 HR 13 RBI) VS Shane Victorino (.262 8 HR 33 RBI)
RF: Jason Heyward (.301 10 HR 38 RBI) VS Ross Gload (.242 2 HR 7 RBI)
Atlanta 7 Philadelphia 3- Advantage: Atlanta
I can’t tell you how excited I am to watch this series. The Phillies and Braves are both the class act of the National League. People forget about the 14 straight division titles Atlanta posted under manager Bobby Cox. The boys in blue are back, and back in the mix as a serious contender. The combination of seasoned veterans such as Tim Hudson and Chipper Jones, and young superstars like Jason Heyward, and Martin Prado, could be the right remedy for another NL East crown. I expect Atlanta to make a huge statement this week by taking at least 2 out of 3 from Philly, but a sweep wouldn’t shock me.
About the Author
Written by Bill Furey
My name is Bill Furey, and I am from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I am 25 years old, and a complete baseball guru. This will be my first year blogging for major league baseball, and I am really looking forward to both voicing my opinion as well as covering games. As a former 3rd basemen for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell I got the amazing opportunity to compete, admire, and most importantly learn from some of the most talented players, and coaches this great game has to offer. Growing up in New England I have always been a die hard fan of the Sox, Pats, Celts, and Bruins. My love, understanding, and respect for the game of baseball takes major precedent in my life. I currently coach one of Massachusetts best 13 year old baseball teams. Teaching the game of baseball to young talented players is something I truly look forward to every time I take the field. The relationships I built from this wonderful game are better than any home run, stolen base, or any winning season. Baseball has given me life lessons I couldn't have learned anywhere else in the world. A baseball quote that best describes my passion for the game is this: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970. I look forward to covering the Atlanta Braves this season, and getting some great feedback from my followers. Play ball.