Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images
Bryse Wilson was impressive in his last outing prior to the All-Star break, and will look to replicate that performance tonight against the Brewers.
After taking the series opener on Monday, the Braves will turn to rookie Bryse Wilson as they look to clinch a series victory tonight. The offense was held quiet relative to their recent output, but scratched out four runs thanks in large part to a three-run homer from Freddie Freeman. His recent struggles have come to a screeching halt as Freeman has now hit mammoth blasts in each of the last two games, propelling the Braves to a win streak that now stands at five. Those efforts have aided in extending the Braves’ division lead to a season-high 71⁄2 games entering play Tuesday.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the Braves’ recent hot streak is that it has come on the road, where Atlanta had struggled during the early portion of their schedule. The club now sits at 30-18 away from SunTrust Park this season, even breaking a near decade-long drought at Petco Park over the weekend with a three-game sweep. The Brewers, conversely, are in the midst of their worst stretch this season, having gone just 3-8 this month. Their pitching staff has been battered in July, but with ace Brandon Woodruff on the mound today, the Atlanta offense will be tested.
Brandon Woodruff has been a godsend for the Milwaukee rotation this season, as his 2.91 FIP leads all qualified Brewers starters by nearly 1.5 runs entering play. Their next-best starter this season was Gio Gonzalez, who has made just six starts due to injury. Woodruff was an All-Star selection, and rightfully so as he owns a 10-3 record with a 3.67 ERA, which is actually slightly unlucky as his FIP would suggest. Woodruff previously squared off with the Braves on May 19, pitching eight innings while allowing just two runs with six strikeouts in a no-decision.
Woodruff features a four-pitch mixture that includes a four-seam fastball, sinker, slider, and changeup. The fastball averages 96 MPH, and combined with a hard sinker creates a difficult combination for opposing hitters, who have a combined .274 xWOBA against those two offerings this season. Woodruff throws his slider 21% of the time, and it also suppresses hard contact, with an xWOBA of just .281. The changeup thrown by Woodruff is his most hittable pitch, with a .346 xWOBA thus far.
As noted above, Woodruff will be opposed by Braves right-hander Bryse Wilson. In his most recent outing, prior to the All-Star break, Wilson worked six innings against the Phillies, allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. This was easily his this season, as his first two starts totaled 72⁄3 innings with eight runs allowed. The Braves hope that the young right-hander will be able to replicate the command that he displayed in his last start, as Milwaukee will be a greater test in a tougher ballpark.
Wilson primarily features a three-pitch mixture that includes a four-seam fastball, changeup, and slider. The fastball averages 95 MPH with 1.2 inches of horizontal movement, and has been used on 66% of all pitches thrown by Wilson. Opposing batters have a .265 xWOBA against the fastball this season. The changeup, which Wilson throws 16% of the time, is the second most-used pitch in his arsenal, with a .398 xWOBA thus far. Finally, Wilson throws his slider on 12% of offerings, and is allowing a .395 xWOBA this season. These numbers pale in comparison to Woodruff, but again, Wilson is looking to build off the best start of his young career, which came just two weeks ago.
The Braves have been red-hot, and will face a tough assignment tonight, so this should be an entertaining game as they look for their sixth-consecutive win. Bryse Wilson is fighting to solidify a spot in the rotation down the stretch, so that will be a storyline worth monitoring as the game progresses. Tune in tonight as Talking Chop will have full coverage of the game.
Game Date/Time: Monday, July 16, 8:10 p.m. ET
Location: Miller Park – Milwaukee, WI
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network