It may have taken both the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants until the very last day of the season to secure a playoff berth, but both teams can now breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that they will be a part of the 2010 MLB playoffs. With Atlanta winning the Wild Card berth, the Braves will travel to San Francisco to open the best of 5 NLDS beginning on Thursday, October 7th.
The season’s head to head matchup was won by the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 3 with 3 of their victories coming at home. Home field advantage should play a pretty big role in this series as San Francisco sports a 49-32 record at their home ball park, while Atlanta has just a 35-46 road record for the season. Compare that to the Braves’ 56-25 home record and the Braves will probably end up regretting losing the division crown the Philadelphia Phillies.
San Francisco also has a slight edge entering this series with the way they have been playing recently. Fighting for their playoff lives every night the last few weeks have forced the Giants to stay sharp and be on top of their game. The Giants enter this series having won 7 of their last 10 games, while the Braves are an even 5 and 5 in their last 10.
The pitching matchup also appears to favor the Giants in this NLDS series. The first 3 games’ scheduled starters are as follows:
If San Francisco can win the first two games at home behind their two best pitchers, they should have no problem closing out the Braves for the series win.
The Atlanta Braves hit the road Friday to start a nine- game road swing that will take to Miami to play the Florida Marlins for a three-game set this weekend. The Braves are coming off of a so-so home stand where they went 4-3, which included an 8-0 victory over the San Diego Padres. The victory gives Atlanta a 1/2 game lead over San Diego for the best record in the National League.
Atlanta will have to continue to swing a hot bat when they get to Miami. The Florida Marlins have held their opponents to 2 or fewer runs in 4 of their last 6 games. Whiling displaying some of that good pitching and defense that has helped the Marlins keep their opponents at bay they have won 5 of their last 6 games, and are looking to get back into the division race with a strong showing against the Braves. Currently the Marlins are in 4th place in the NL East and are 9 games behind the Braves.
This weekend’s match up is void of any marquee pitchers, but it still has some decent match ups to keep your eye on. Friday’s game will showcase Alex Sanabia vs Derek Lowe, Saturday’s game will see Anibal Sanchez take on Kris Medlen, while the final game on Sunday will feature Chris Volstad against Jair Jurrjens.