Nowhere to go but up for tonight’s starter!
After picking up a rain-delayed victory against the Cardinals last night, the Braves are now going to try to keep things going by guaranteeing a split in this four-game series against St. Louis.
The pitching matchup tonight seems interesting if only because of the fact that Ian Anderson is starting and there’s really nowhere to go but up for the 24-year-old. His last start was absolutely nightmarish, and it was especially concerning considering that his start before that saw him go just four innings while giving up four runs. That type of work on the mound is not going to cut it and he’s got to start doing better soon in order to meet the standard that the rest of the rotation is setting.
With that being said, he’s really going to need to step it up since the competition will not be any easier tonight. The Dodgers are the Dodgers, the Phillies have a pretty decent offense, themselves, and the Cardinals have the same team wRC+ as the Braves (108). So this is not going to be an easy night for Ian Anderson and it’s absolutely imperative that he doesn’t fall victim to the usual pratfalls of falling behind in counts and taking way too many pitches to get out of innings. It might be possible that that’s just who Ian Anderson is as a pitcher right now, but it’s pretty clear that the Braves are going to be giving him time to right the ship and there’s no better time to start getting back on the right track than now.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals will be sending Andre Pallante to the mound and he’ll be making his sixth career start after beginning this season in the bullpen. The Cardinals initially wanted him to simply make spot starts but after he responded to the opportunity in early June with a couple of solid starts, Pallante has stuck around in the rotation and continued to pitch at a pretty solid level. This is not a guy whose Statcast profile will blow you away in any way shape or form, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting the job done and keeping the Cardinals in the handful of games that he’s started so far.
That’s likely what the Cardinals will be asking of Andre Pallante tonight — simply keep St. Louis in the game. Again, this is going to be a pretty tough task since you could make a very easy argument that this Braves lineup is the best that he’ll have seen as a starter so far. Pallante has started against the Cubs twice, the Reds, the Marlins, and the Red Sox. With all due respect to those teams and lineups, the Braves lineup can be a handful for even the top pitchers so Pallante should have a very stern challenge on his hands tonight.
This is definitely a game that could wind up turning into a slugfest if both pitchers aren’t at their best tonight. With that being said, I’m sure everybody is hoping that Ian Anderson can make some significant improvements off of whatever his last start was. Meanwhile, the Braves have an opportunity to take on a starter who doesn’t exactly seem like an imposing hurler. This could go sideways for both starters but maybe baseball could spring yet another surprise on everybody and give us a pitcher’s duel. Who knows? The only way to figure it out for sure is to tune in for the game tonight.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, July 5, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan