The Atlanta Braves have drawn comparisons to the 2017 Yankees, and for good reason. The youth-powered club arrived ahead of schedule, taking baseball by storm in the process. Who expected them to lead the NL East for most of the first half? They’re young, fun, and coming to the Bronx for three games. How do they stack up to the Bombers, though?
Game One: Anibal Sanchez vs. Jonathan Loaisiga
One of the oddest story lines to develop this season has been the reemergence of Anibal Sanchez. The 34-year-old has found a way to get outs, even if the underlying numbers say he shouldn’t be this effective. Sanchez owns a 2.68 ERA with a 4.04 FIP. He relies more on a cutter than a four-seamer, and a changeup is his go-to offspeed pitch. As for the Yankees, Loaisiga has been nothing short of a revelation. The rookie mowed down the Phillies in his last start, combining his electric stuff with pinpoint precision. He looked unhittable.
Game Two: Sean Newcomb vs. Domingo German
Newcomb, 25, has impressed in his sophomore season. The left-hander owns a 2.71 ERA with a 3.43 FIP. He walks a few too many, but it’s hard to argue with those results. He’s pretty darn good. German, meanwhile, suffers from Michael Pineda syndrome. The stuff is so good, but he can’t get the results. He owns an ugly 5.32 ERA (4.16 FIP). At some point he will need to produce.
Game Three: Julio Teheran vs. CC Sabathia
The erstwhile ace of the Braves continues to struggle. Teheran has pitched to a disappointing 4.21 ERA with even worse peripherals. His 5.11 FIP stands out, but the alarm bells go off when one considers his walk (4.21 BB/9) and home run (1.54 HR/9) rates. At one point, drawing the right-hander would have spelled doom. Now his start may be the most manageable. Sabathia, on the other hand, has been nothing short of excellent this season. He’s fresh off a gem against the Red Sox, and the owner of a 3.02 ERA (4.05 FIP). Another strong outing could land him in All-Star conversations.
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