The Red Sox head on the road to face the Braves in a mid-week series. This is the first time either team has faced each other all year.

Pitching

The Braves throw their young lefty Tucker Davidson on the mound, who has rounded into quite the prospect for Atlanta. Davidson has a 1.53 ERA in three games and nearly 18 innings of work.

The 25-year-old has a solid fastball that gets up around 94 mph that he uses for nearly half of all his pitches. The young left-hander also relies heavily on his slider without much else aside from the occasional curveball.

Atlanta Braves vs Red Sox Tucker Davidson

Davidson’s slider has been nasty so far this season, with guys in the box having just a .077 batting average. A big reason for his success has been his ability to get ahead in the count with a 56% average for a first-pitch strike.

In Tucker’s last start on the mound, he went six innings with four hits and zero earned runs. The Braves were unable to get him the run support for a win, but he shined again in another start for Atlanta.

On the other side is Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is in his seventh year with the club after getting traded from the Orioles and has struggled as of late.

In the last seven days, the lefty has a combined ERA of 11.57. In his last start, he gave up six earned runs on six hits to the Astros.

Rodriguez has the full arsenal of pitches using a fastball, slider, curveball, sinker, and cutter. Eduardo relies heavily on his 4-seam fastball in the middle of the zone and his changeup, which he likes to put down and away in the zone.

Rodriguez has really struggled with his cutter, with opposing teams hitting .367 against it this year. His stuff has struggled with consistency in terms of finding the strike zone.

The 28-year-old ranks near the top in walks this year and hasn’t been able to get a high velocity on his 4-seam fastball. This has led to a .621 slugging percentage by opposing teams on his fastball.

Red Sox vs Braves Pick

Boston had their worst loss of the season on Sunday, losing 18-4 to the Blue Jays. The Red Sox bounced back last night with a 2-1 win coming back in the bottom of the ninth.

Boston had given up a home run in the top half of the inning to Vlad Guerrero Jr. to tie the game heading into the bottom half. Rafael Devers hit a rocket off the green monster with runners on first and second to give the Sox a walk-off win.

The Red Sox have been doing well this season against lefties, with the ninth-best batting average in the league at about .257.

I think this might be one of the best left-handers that Boston has faced this season. Tucker Davidson has been on the continual rise as a prospect and has put together a nice start to his campaign in 2021.

The Braves are coming off a 6-4 win on Sunday against the Marlins. Austin Riley had a nice day with three hits on three at-bats driving in three runs.

Atlanta ranks just below Boston in hitting against lefties this season and near the bottom in on-base percentage. 

This is a fun matchup between two teams that can really hit the ball on any given day, but I am going to lean towards taking Atlanta.

The Red Sox bats have cooled as of late with a .667 OPS, a .292 wOBA, and an 82 wRC+, all of which rank among the bottom-10 teams spanning the past couple of weeks.

Both teams do well against the fastball, and if the Braves can find any consistency in their bullpen, they should be able to squeak out a win at home against a tired Boston team. 

The Red Sox haven’t had a day off since May 27th.

This game could go either way, but Atlanta has the better guy on the mound against a Boston team that just needs a day off.

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I am a student at Virginia Tech majoring in sports media and analytics while pursuing a minor in digital marketing strategy. I work as a production assistant for ACC Network and 3304 sports, which is a student run sports network producing articles, broadcasts and podcasts. I currently cover the men's and women's soccer teams at Virginia Tech. I am currently interning with the Charlottesville Tom Sox which is a summer league baseball team.