Game Preview: Braves Look to Get Out of Recent Slump in Second Game vs. the Pirates

Braves look to bounce back facing Mitch Keller and the Pirates in the second of four games. Atlanta will look to create more contact as they face a struggling Mitch Keller, while Chirinos hopes to go deep in his third Braves appearance.

Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Atlanta is looking to get back in the win collum coming in the second of four games tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the Pirates are ten games below .500, they have been playing much better lately, going 6-4 in the last ten games.

After last night's 7-6 loss, the Braves will need to continue to focus on generating quality at-bats with runners on base and tightening their pitch control. While the bats have not particularly struggled, they have left plenty of runs on the paths, a problem that shouldn't be much of a long-term worry.

Pitching Matchup for Braves vs. Pirates

Atlanta, who still has a top-ten ERA in the MLB, will rely on Yonny Chirinos, making his 3rd appearance in a Braves uniform. The right-hander owns a 4.42 ERA and is 5-4 on the season. While he has been knocked around since joining the team, Atlanta has won both games he has pitched. The last start against the Angels looked more comfortable, giving up three earned runs with five strikeouts over five innings of work.

When watching Chirinos, you can expect a sinker, slider, splitter combination, and an occasional four-seam fastball in the low 90s thrown in there. It will be crucial for Chirinos to go five innings + as the Braves have had to go to the bullpen early in two consecutive games.

Pittsburgh will be sending Mitch Keller to the mound for his 23rd appearance of the season. Since participating in the All-Star game, the 27-year-old righty has given up 24 runs in four games, losing four straight. While Keller appears to be in the midst of a slump, he does own a 9-8 record and an ERA of 4.35. He relies on a mid-90s four-seam fastball that has heavy downward movement. It will be essential for Atlanta to stay disciplined in the box and create solid contact early in the game.

Hitters to Watch

Matt Olson has continued his stretch of terrorizing pitchers since the break. He has batted in a runner in ten straight games, hitting seven home runs in that stretch. Olson's batting average continues to rise, increasing by .10 points over that span. At the four position, Ozzie Albies has also added seven RBIs in the last 10, Creating tough at-bats and hitting well from both sides of the plate. A promising sign, as he continues to balance power and contact as a switch hitter.

While Ronald Acuña Jr. had a slow day yesterday, look for him to bounce back on a pitcher that uses the zone frequently and capitalize on pitches, most likely going down and in on him.

How to watch Braves vs. Pirates - 8/8/23

Date/Time/Location: 8/8/2023 at 7:05 PM EST at PNC Park

TV: Bally Sports Southeast

Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan

Betting Odds

ATL: -160

O/U: 10