Friday, April 9, 2010

Braves go west to take on Giants

The Braves are set to kick off a West Coast road trip this afternoon with a three-game series at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

Probable pitchers:
4/9: Tim Hudson (RHP, ATL) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (LHP, SF)
4/10: Derek Lowe (RHP, ATL) vs. Todd Wellemeyer (RHP, SF)
4/11: Jair Jurrjens (RHP, ATL) vs. Time Lincecum (RHP, SF)

Sanchez will be the first lefty-handed starter the Braves have faced in 2010. Since we haven't seen Bobby Cox fill out a lineup card yet 2010 when the Braves are facing an LHP, I'll submit my recommendation:

2B) Martin Prado: .285/.362/.474
LF) Matt Diaz: .346/.383/.537
1B) Troy Glaus: .277/.399/.558
C ) Brian McCann: .267/.334/.425
SS) Yunel Escobar: .280/.357/.380
RF) Jason Heyward: .000/.000/.000
CF) Nate McLouth: .244/.317/.392
3B) Omar Infante*: .266/.310/.381
P ) Tim Hudson: .103/.143/.149

*Assuming Chipper can't play.

Jonathan Sanchez may be the best pitcher the Braves have faced so far. Certainly, his handedness will be a problem for a lineup whose platoon splits lean so heavily in the other direction. Sanchez took a big step forward as a starter last season, and the 27-year-old has the stuff to develop into a front line starter if he can build on those gains - particularly if he can keep his walks under control and pitch efficiently.

Tim Hudson will be pitching for the Braves, and - if the last month of 2009 and spring training are any indication - Huddy seems set to have a strong 2010 after spending most of 2009 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

This is what the Giants' lineup has done against RHPs:

CF) Aaron Rowand: .279/.337/.429
SS) Edgar Renteria: .283/.333/.384
3B) Pablo Sandoval: .327/.375/.542
1B) Aubrey Huff: .286/.347/.493
LF) Mark DeRosa: .265/.333/.397
C ) Bengie Molina: .270/.300/.392
RF) John Bowker: .260/.308/.439
2B) Juan Uribe: .255/.297/.425
P ) Jonathan Sanchez: .092/.148/.118

I will be live-tweeting today's game, which starts at 4:35 PM ET.