Atlanta Braves head into blistery weather to face Chicago White Sox

The Atlanta Braves head to the Windy City on Monday to begin a 3-game set with the White Sox.

Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

After taking the first series of the 2024 season from the Phillies, the Atlanta Braves now begin a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox starting Monday afternoon. Assuming Mother Nature cooperates and allows these games to be played.

Low temperatures mixed with precipitation could result in the entire series being put on hold. If the Braves can get these games in, here are a few things to look for.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Charlie Morton vs. Chris Flexen (April 1st, 2:10 PM EST)

Charlie Morton will make his first start of what is likely to be his final season as a big league pitcher.

Game 2: Reynaldo Lopez vs. Garret Crochet (April 2nd, 7:40 PM EST)

Reynaldo Lopez will make his Atlanta Braves debut and look to hold down the last spot in the Braves starting rotation.

Game 3: Spencer Strider vs. TBD (April 3rd, 2:10 PM EST)

Spencer Strider will continue his quest for a National League Cy Young Award after a great performance against the Phillies.

3 things to watch for during the Braves and White Sox series

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Familiar faces all around

The Braves and the White Sox enjoyed doing business with one another this off-season. A trade that brought lefty reliever Aaron Bummer to Atlanta also sent a slew of Braves players to the White Sox. Braden Shewmake, Nicky Lopez, Michael Soroka, Jared Shuster, and Riley Gowens were exchanged for Bummer's services.

Atlanta will miss Soroka this series but will enjoy getting to catch up with their old pal. In addition to the players listed, Chicago signed Kevin Pillar, who elected free agency after spending 2023 with the Atlanta Braves.

Pillar recently stated that he thinks Michael Harris II has a shot at winning MVP this season. He seemed to enjoy his time with Atlanta and the fact that he can give kudos to former teammates proves that.

Although the White Sox were swept by the Tigers over the weekend, they have a talented roster including the former Braves mentioned as well as Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert Jr., and Andrew Benintendi. It will be interesting to see how these familiar faces perform against their former squad.

Reynaldo Lopez makes his Braves debut

Newly acquired Braves pitcher Reynaldo Lopez makes his debut for Atlanta in Game 2 of this series. Lopez has spent most of his career as a relief pitcher but the Braves believe he has potential to be more effective as a starter.

Lopez did start for the White Sox back in 2019 and completed 184 innings with a 5.38 ERA. Not the best numbers but he looked pretty good in Spring Training so there's hope he can succeed in the role for the Braves.

Some believe that Lopez will not hold down the fifth spot of the starting rotation all season but you have to believe that is his goal. With a stacked rotation at Triple-A Gwinnett, Lopez will be under some pressure to perform. He could be replaced or relegated to a bullpen role if things don't go well.

Austin Riley's slow start at the plate

Austin Riley had two knocks against the Phillies on Sunday in the series finale. However, he has not looked like himself at the plate. Riley seems to be consistently behind in the count and chasing pitches out of the zone or watching fastballs right down the middle for strike three.

One positive takeaway from Riley's first three games of the season is his defensive performance. Riley wants to bring home a Gold Glove this season and it looks like that mission is on track.

For someone who has finished in the top 10 for MVP voting for the last three seasons, everyone is expecting more from him offensively. The good news is that we are only three games into the season and Riley will adjust. He has proven throughout his career when things aren't going his way, he will fight through adversity and come back stronger. Look for this series in Chicago to be the one that gets him going.

Hopefully, both teams will be able to get this series in without too much disruption from the weather. If they do get to play, it's going to be a cold one out there.

More Braves News from House That Hank Built