Phillies Preview: at Atlanta Braves

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Jul 15, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; 1996 olympian Shannon Miller acknowledges the crowd after she turned the number of game remaining at Turner Field from 34 to 33 in the fifth inning of the Atlanta Braves game against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 15, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; 1996 olympian Shannon Miller acknowledges the crowd after she turned the number of game remaining at Turner Field from 34 to 33 in the fifth inning of the Atlanta Braves game against the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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May 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Hellickson (58) is congratulated by bench coach Larry Bowa (10) after scoring during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Hellickson (58) is congratulated by bench coach Larry Bowa (10) after scoring during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

PHILLIES – BRAVES PITCHING MATCHUPS

THURSDAY: Aaron Nola (5-9, 4.75 ERA) vs Matt Wisler (4-10, 4.92 ERA): Wisler is a 23-year old second year starter who came to the Braves in the big trade last April that sent Craig Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. The righty was the Padres 7th round choice in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Ohio high school. He relies primarily on his average four-seam fastball and a solid slider, while mixing in his curve, changeup, and a sinker as well. He is in a particularly rough stretch right now wherein over his last three starts, Wisler has allowed at least five earned runs in each while not reaching the 6th inning. He has a 9.98 ERA and .328 batting average against in those three most recent outings.

FRIDAY: Vincent Velasquez (8-2, 3.34 ERA) vs Tyrell Jenkins (0-2, 6.17 ER): Jenkins is a 23-year old rookie righty who was a supplemental first round pick by the Saint Louis Cardinals at 50th overall in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Texas high school. He features a four-seam fastball and a sinker that, when at his best, cause hitters to pound balls into the ground. Jenkins received his big league call-up in the third week of June, pitched for a couple of weeks out of the Atlanta bullpen, and then was moved into the rotation on July 6th. He did well in his first two outings, but was pounded by the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in his most recent start, which obviously could be taken with somewhat of a grain of salt.

SATURDAY: Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.65 ERA) vs Julio Teheran (3-8, 2.71 ERA): Teheran is the unquestioned ace of the Braves pitching rotation at just 25-years of age, and his name has been one of the hottest in trade rumors as the MLB non-waiver deadline comes on Monday. Strong success in this one could really heat up such talks for the right-hander who was signed back in 2007 as an international free agent out of Colombia. He was scheduled originally to pitch in the Thursday night opener, but has been dealing with ‘right lat tightness’ which forced him out of his last start after what had been four strong innings. This start was pushed back to Saturday, but there is a chance that he could be a late scratch or even pushed to Sunday.

SUNDAY: Jerad Eickhoff (6-12, 3.83 ERA) vs Mike Foltynewicz (4-4, 4.30 ERA): There is no guarantee that it will be Foltynewicz here, as the Braves have not announced their Sunday starter. But it would fall in the order where the 24-year old righty last appeared. He features a high-velo four-seamer and a hot slider, and has an effective changeup when the pitch is on. His curveball is a classic 12-6 offering, but has little depth. The Braves could also turn to Joel De La Cruz here, or even call-up one of either Aaron Blair or Casey Kelly to make this start.

Next: PHILS KEYS TO VICTORY IN ATLANTA

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