The Philadelphia Phillies travel to Atlanta to take on the NL East rival Braves in a four game series at Turner Field.
The Phillies open up a four game series with the NL East Division rival Atlanta Braves on Thursday evening at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia in what will be one of their final visits to that ballpark.
The Braves are moving through their final season at Turner Field, and will open brand new SunTrust Park in time for the 2017 season.
For this year, the Braves are the only thing standing between the Fightin’ Phils and the division basement. While the Phillies have rebounded slightly from last year’s debacle, Atlanta has inherited the mantle of “worst team in baseball”, currently sitting at the bottom of the overall MLB standings.
The Braves continue to try competing at a big league level with AAA talent for the most part. The only two consistent producers are 26-year old 1st baseman Freddie Freeman and 32-year old right fielder Nick Markakis.
Freeman is hitting for a .280/.363/.517 slash line with 18 homers, 41 RBI, 50 runs scored, and 48 extra-base hits. All of those lead the clubs, with the exception of Markakis’ 50 RBI.
Aside from those players, anything at all that the Braves receive as far as offensive production comes to them on an inconsistent basis at best.
Talented 25-year old closer Arodys Vizcaino is on the disabled list, so manager Brian Snitker will likely look to 22-year old rookie Mauricio Cabrera or 33-year old veteran Jim Johnson at the end of games.
This is the kind of series that the Phillies have the talent to take at least three of the four games, and doing so would allow them to return to Citizens Bank Park next week with a 5-5 record on this long road trip.
That has to be the goal, beating the teams behind you in the standings, but it has to come one game at a time, starting with an important outing by one of their starting pitchers.
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