After their second day off this week, the Braves stay at home for an interleague matchup with the Detroit Tigers. We are going to act like the last series with the Nationals did not happen, as the Braves streak of five straight series wins came to an end after being swept in a two-game set. The sweep put the Braves at 30-26 on the year, three games back of the Phillies for the NL East lead, and only 14-14 at home. They will look to get back over the .500 mark at SunTrust Park Friday night against a skidding Tigers squad.
Austin Riley’s dominance
At this point, it is more than just a flash in the pan. Atlanta has a budding superstar, and his ceiling cannot even be seen. Austin Riley is averaging a home run every two games (7 homers in 14 MLB games). What’s even more noteworthy is this streak goes back to when he was in AAA. If you combine Riley’s home runs between AAA and the majors, he has 22. That would be enough to lead all of baseball. Even more astounding – Riley has 20 home runs in his last 32 games. That’s a fifth of the way there to hitting over 100 home runs in a single season. They were not lying when they said, “light tower power.”
Mike Foltynewicz looks to stay in a groove
Folty came back from his elbow injury looking like a different pitcher than the guy from 2018. So much so, that it was getting close to the organization having to send him back to AAA. But they were patient with him, and he looks to be regaining his All-Star form once again.
Two starts ago he only surrendered two runs over six innings against the Brewers. It was not patented Foltynewicz, but it was an encouraging sign after his first four outings. Then, last week against the Cardinals, Folty had his best stuff to date. He went six innings allowing only one run, and it was not earned. He struck out seven, got his first win of the year, and only threw 89 pitches. His fastball velocity is back up near 100, and there is a reason to believe he has turned the corner. Look for him to toy with a Detroit lineup that is last in the American League in runs scored.
Meet Spencer Turnbull
Turnbull, what a fantastic last name, is a rookie pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and is enjoying himself a splendid 2019. Although, he carries a 2-4 record, his 2.97 ERA and 9.2 K/9 innings more than makeup for that. The 26-year-old out of the University of Alabama was once ranked rather high in the Tigers farm system, but it has taken him a while to come to form. He will greet the Braves with a heavy dose of fastballs and sinkers followed by a couple of offspeed pitches – a slider and curveball.