Guardians (42-43) vs. Braves (57-28) Game Preview | Wednesday 7/5 7:10 PM. EST.

July 5, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Atlanta Braves

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Braves:

1 – Battle of 6’s

Cal Quantrill looks to bounce back against the mighty Braves offense with his 6.18 ERA as he starts for Cleveland and for Atlanta Michael Soroka toes the mound.  Soroka enters tonight’s start with a 6.89 ERA.  

2 – Naylor update 

Josh Naylor is day-to-day with tendinitis in his right wrist.  Guardians Manager Terry Francona mentioned to the press that imagining tests showed “mild swelling” but not much else on the scan.

3 – One run madness continues 

After last night’s 6-5 victory, the Guardians have now played an MLB league-leading 36 one-run games with a record of 17-19.  Guards also lead MLB in extra-inning games, 14, with an 8-6 record.

Guardians Notes

The Guardians of Cleveland are struggling to reach a win-loss record of .500. Even in the relatively weak AL Central division, winning the division title will require surpassing the 81-win mark. However, there is a glimmer of hope for Cleveland, as they are just one hot streak away from finally achieving this milestone. The team possesses one of the strongest pitching staff in the league, making them well-equipped for success. In fact, they are one of only two teams with a lower bullpen ERA than the Atlanta Braves. Additionally, Cleveland’s rotation boasts several quality pitchers. Unfortunately, Cal Quantrill has not performed up to expectations in 2023. In his most recent outing against the Cubs, he allowed six runs in just 3.1 innings, resulting in an ERA of 6.18. Throughout his 12 starts, he has held only three opponents to under three runs. This year’s version of Cal Quantrill is a far cry from his performance in the years 2020 to 2022.

Unlike the Braves, the Guardians do not have the same resilience to withstand poor pitching. Despite having a relatively productive June, Cleveland ranks a low 26th in runs scored per game. Power-hitting continues to be a struggle, with the team hitting the fewest home runs in the league. Although they excel at avoiding strikeouts, their ability to draw walks is among the worst, diminishing the impact of their speed on the bases. At the halfway point of the season, the Guardians have the lowest hard-hit rate in Major League Baseball. Barring a significant trade, it is unlikely that the offense will experience any significant changes going forward.

Guardians Stats and Insights

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Cal Quantrill

  • The Guardians are sending Quantrill (2-5) out for his 13th start of the season. He is 2-5 with a 6.18 ERA and 35 strikeouts through 62 2/3 innings pitched.
  • In his most recent time out on Friday against the Chicago Cubs, the right-hander tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs while surrendering eight hits.
  • Quantrill has put up seven starts this campaign where he pitched five or more innings.
  • He has made two appearances this season in which he did not allow an earned run.
  • The Guardians are 4-3 in Quantrill’s seven starts this season they were the underdog on the money line.
  • Quantrill’s team has put together a 6-6 record in his 12 starts.
  • Quantrill starts with a set total this season have gone over the run total in five of 12 contests.

GUARDIANS HITTING TRENDS

  • They have won 10 of the 12 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Cleveland has won 11 of its 16 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have a record of 29-23 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • Cleveland has won 24 of its 29 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 22 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 13-9

Braves Notes

The Atlanta Braves have been on a remarkable 17-1 winning streak in baseball, propelling them to possess the best record in MLB and a comfortable lead in the race for the top spot in the National League. One of the key factors behind their success is their potent offense, which averaged an impressive 7.00 runs per game throughout June. The Braves boast six players selected for the National League All-Star team, including three starters, with Ronald Acuna Jr., a strong contender for the MVP award, leading the charge. Their prowess at the plate is evident, as they lead the league in home runs and rank among the highest-scoring teams.

Notably, the Braves’ success extends beyond their power-hitting abilities. They also excel in other aspects of the game, displaying a disciplined approach at the plate with few strikeouts and a penchant for stealing bases.

Pitching has been another area of strength for the Braves. They currently rank third in team ERA, showcasing one of the most effective bullpens in MLB. The starting rotation includes two All-Stars, and there is an abundance of quality arms available beyond them. After being sidelined due to injuries that wiped out his entire 2021 and 2022 seasons, Michael Soroka has made a triumphant return to the team. He is set to make his fourth start of 2023 to conclude the ongoing series. In his previous outing, Soroka delivered a solid performance, recording a quality start with seven strikeouts and zero walks. However, he did surrender two home runs. Understandably, Soroka hasn’t regained his peak form after being away from the game for two years, allowing a total of 12 runs over 15.2 innings. Fortunately, he finds himself on a team that can afford to support him as he works to rediscover his previous dominance.

Braves Stats and Insights

BRAVES PROBABLE PITCHER – Mike Soroka

  • Soroka’s team is 2-1-0 against the spread in his starts this season.
  • The right-hander gave up three earned runs and allowed six hits in six innings pitched against the Miami Marlins on Friday.
  • Soroka’s team is 1-1 this season when he starts and they’re favored on the money line.
  • In games Soroka has started, his team is 2-1.
  • Games Soroka has started this season hit over two times in three chances.

BRAVES HITTING TRENDS

  • The Braves have hit at least two home runs in 46 games this season, and are 35-11 in those contests.
  • Atlanta has gone 22-1 in its 23 games this season with five or more extra-base hits.
  • The team is 45-17 in the games this season it has notched at least eight hits.
  • Atlanta has a 45-9 record in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Braves have gone 15-9 in the 24 games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Final Thoughts/Pick

There is something that needs to be mentioned here, so let’s address it. Currently, there are individuals displaying the courage to bet against the Braves. To those people, I extend my congratulations for your remarkable risk-taking abilities. At this moment, Atlanta seems to be unstoppable, excelling in pitching, hitting, defense, and overall teamwork, compensating effectively when one aspect falters. Although Mike Soroka’s performance on the mound hasn’t been exceptional, the Braves offense should have a significant advantage against Cal Quantrill, whose performance has been worse over a larger period of time. Both bullpens are evenly matched, negating Cleveland’s typical advantage. In a high-scoring game, the Braves are expected to emerge victorious against Cleveland almost 95% of the time this year. That is the anticipated outcome for Wednesday night.

Our Pick: Take the Braves and the Run-Line -1.5

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