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The first place Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles will wrap up a three game interleague series Sunday afternoon from SunTrust Park in Atlanta. The Orioles will give the nod to 24-year old right-hander David Hess, and the Braves will hand the ball to 34-year old right-hander Brandon McCarthy. The Orioles won the series opener by a 10-7 score in extra innings on Friday night.
Hess Hit-Hard Again as Struggles Continue
David Hess will make his eighth start of the season, looking to get back on track after two rough outings. Hess surrendered five runs in 4.2 innings against the Nationals in his previous start, however he was bailed out by his offense to escape with a no decision. The rookie right-hander has allowed exactly five runs in three of his seven starts on the season, and he possesses a 4.82 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP to go with a 2-3 record in 37.1 innings logged. Hess has recorded three Quality Starts on the season.
Adam Jones hasn’t been driving in a ton of runs, however he has amassed 14 hits in his last nine games, and he features a .319 average on the month. The 32-year old center fielder has been the Orioles second best hitter behind Manny Machado this season, hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI’s. Jones owns a .260 average with five RBI’s in 12 career games against the Braves. The Orioles are only scoring an average of 3.65 runs, ranking them down at 28th in the Majors. The Baltimore pitching staff owns a 4.85 team ERA, placing them 27th in the Major Leagues.
McCarthy Seeking First Win Since May 22nd
Brandon McCarthy will make his 15th start of the year, targeting his first win of the month. McCarthy evaded danger in his latest start by holding the Padres to only two runs on eight hits, resulting in a no decision in a 9-3 Braves’ loss. The 6-foot-7 right-hander has pitched well in two of his last three starts, however he is having a rough season, posting a 4.89 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP to go with a 5-3 record in 73.2 innings pitched. McCarthy has posted mixed results in his career against Baltimore, going 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in 48.1 total innings. Chris Davis is 2 for 6 against McCarthy, while Mark Trumbo is 1 for 4, and Adam Jones is 4 for 17.
Johan Camargo is the hottest hitter in the Braves lineup right now, accumulating 10 RBI’s along with eight hits in his last six games. The 24-year old third baseman is having a breakout season in his first full season in the Big Leagues, currently hitting .238 with seven home runs and 31 RBI’s in 53 games played. Camargo has collected at least one hit in all but four games this month. The Braves talented young lineup is averaging 4.95 runs, good for fifth in the Major Leagues. The Atlanta pitching staff features a solid 3.63 team ERA, pegging them ninth in the Majors.
The Baltimore Orioles are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 games against the Braves heading into Saturday’s action.
- 4-1 in their last 5 games in Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 0-4 in McCarthy’s last 4 starts.
- 1-4 in McCarthy’s last 5 road starts.
- 1-5 in their last 6 interleague home games against a team with a losing record.
I am taking a chance with the Orioles however my stronger play is on the total. Brandon McCarthy is having a rough year, and he has surrendered five home runs in his last three starts. Baltimore still features several heavy hitters, and they are fully capable of doing solid damage against McCarthy. Furthermore, the Braves bullpen is struggling, posting a terrible 5.45 ERA in the last two weeks. In addition, the Orioles are heating up offensively, scoring a combined 32 runs in their last five games heading into Saturday’s action.
Pick: Baltimore Orioles
Brandon McCarthy is having a rough season, and Hess is struggling on the mound for the Orioles. McCarthy owns a poor 5.11 ERA at home this season, and he has not been reliable, plus the over is 8-3 in his last 11 starts overall. The Braves should have no problem scoring runs against Hess who has surrendered four homers with nine walks over his last three starts, and the over is 8-0 in the Braves’ last eight interleague home games against a right-handed starter.