Current Conditions - Cincinnati
L/RAIN 75 °F
Wind: SSW 3
Atlanta Braves (66-61) at Cincinnati Reds (61-66)
Thursday, August 21 - 7:10 PM EST
Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
While the Atlanta Braves are scrambling to stay in the National League playoff race, they can help knock another contender out of the picture this weekend. The Braves have a chance to bolster their hopes and help unclutter the race when they begin a four-game road series against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. The reeling Reds have dropped five straight and eight of nine to fall five games below .500 and 6 1/2 games out of the second NL wild card.
The Braves are slipping out of the NL East race as red-hot Washington pulls away, but they're still just 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the second wild card. Atlanta might be haunted by Wednesday's loss in which it took a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning but lost 3-2 at Pittsburgh, snapping a five-game winning streak. The Reds, who are 32-29 at Great American Ball Park, are eager to get back home after wrapping up a 1-6 road trip to Colorado and St. Louis with a 7-3 defeat against the Cardinals.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, SportSouth (Atlanta), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Julio Teheran (11-9, 3.06 ERA) vs. Reds LH David Holmberg (0-0, 16.88)
Teheran shut down a potent Oakland lineup last time out, limiting the Athletics to two runs over six innings to snap a three-start losing streak. The 23-year-old Colombian has struggled away from home, going 6-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 13 road starts. Teheran is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in two starts against the Reds, but he tossed eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball in a no-decision against them April 27.
Holmberg will get the call from Triple-A Louisville to make his third big-league start and his second of the season. The 23-year-old's Reds' debut was a rough one, as he was tagged for five runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings July 8 against the Chicago Cubs. Holmberg has not made it out of the fourth inning in either of his major-league outings.
1. Cincinnati is 18-31 in one-run games with two of its major league-high 31 one-run defeats coming in a three-game sweep at Atlanta from April 25-27.
2. Braves LF Justin Upton is hitting .378 during an 11-game hitting streak.
3. Reds CF Billy Hamilton, who is 11-for-32 during a seven-game hitting streak, is 2-for-12 against the Braves this season.
PREDICTION: Braves 6, Reds 2