The Atlanta Braves are currently stuck in a two-game losing streak, and yes, their young superstar is out for the year with an injury. But don’t let any of that fool you. They’re still red hot.
That minor skid broke up a nine-game winning streak, and they’ve won 16 of their last 20 games to catapult to the top of a division that has just been begging for a team to take control of all year.
The San Francisco Giants are also red hot. They’ve got a five-game winning streak in the works, with 19 wins in their last 24 games. Neither of these teams is primed to lose a series right now, but one team has to.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves
Where: Truist Park, Cumberland, Georgia
When: Friday (4:20 p.m. PT), Saturday (4:20 p.m. PT), and Sunday (10:20 a.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Sunday (TBS)
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 83-44, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +152, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 5-game winning streak, 8-2 in their last 10 games
Record: 68-58, 1st in the NL East
Run differential: +87, 4th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3rd seed
Momentum: 2-game losing streak, 8-2 in their last 10 games
Three Giants to watch
Logan Webb: Webb is quickly becoming one of the Giants must-watch players. He’s now riding a 12-start streak of not allowing more than 2 earned runs, which, thanks to a mid-season injury, dates all the way back to early May. During that time, Webb has pitched 66.1 innings and allowed 47 hits, 14 walks, and 12 earned runs, with 72 strikeouts. More importantly, the Giants have gone 11-1 during that time frame.
Kevin Gausman: While Webb has been the Giants best pitcher lately, Gausman is still considered the team’s ace, and for good reason: 2.47 ERAs and 2.88 FIPs don’t exactly grow on trees these days. Still, the first-time All-Star hasn’t been quite right lately, as our own Yasi Khan went into great detail on this morning. He takes the mound for the series opener, and can set the tone.
Kris Bryant: Bryant has already hit 6 home runs in his 18 games with the Giants, and seems to be not only finding his rhythm, but finding great happiness with the team. Atlanta is starting the series with a pair of left-handed pitchers, and Bryant has a 1.015 OPS against lefties this year. More homers could be in his immediate future.
Three Braves to watch
All the former Giants: Pablo Sandoval is no longer with the Braves, but they still employ a shocking number of ex Giants. Left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly takes the bump for Saturday’s game, and we’ll likely see left-handed reliever Will Smith at some point. Stephen Vogt is the backup catcher behind Travis d’Arnaud, brother of former-Giant Chase d’Arnaud. Adam Duvall is mashing dingers, and Ehire Adrianza has played six different positions this year. Good Giants.
Joc Pederson: For years, Pederson, a Northern California kid, tormented the Giants while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then he signed with the Chicago Cubs this year and tormented the Giants in a different shade of blue. Then he got traded to Atlanta and will now try to torment them some more.
Freddie Freeman: Freddie Freeman is really good, which is probably the primary reason why he was the NL MVP a year ago. He’s not destroying baseballs the way he was in 2020, but a .296/.393/.510 slash line is nothing to laugh at, especially since the Giants are throwing some righties out there.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Atlanta wins 2-1