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Braves Make A Decision On Game 3 Starter

Braves Make A Decision On Game 3 Starter


The Atlanta Braves new carbon fiber pattern helmet is on display before the game against the San Diego Padres at SunTrust Park on April 16, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)


The Atlanta Braves tied the NL Division Series in spectacular fashion on Monday.

Thanks to a circus catch by Michael Harris II and an excellent play by Austin Riley to double off Bryce Harper at first base, the Braves pulled off an improbable comeback win and will go to Philadelphia with the series tied.

The Braves will turn to one of their best starters of their first half: Bryce Elder.

Elder finished the season with a solid 3.81 ERA in 174.2 innings of work, in which he walked 63 hitters and struck out 128.

His stuff is not overwhelming, but he has the ability to keep his team in the game.

There are things to pay attention to, though, regarding his recent performance.

Elder had a 2.97 ERA in the first half, where he looked like a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation arm.

However, the league caught up to him and made adjustments, punishing him for a 5.11 ERA after the All-Star break.

If we count his ERA since July 9 until the last day of the regular season, it was an ugly 5.75.

Evidently, he is closer to league average than he is to elite, but that doesn’t mean he can’t give the Braves five or six solid innings on Wednesday.

He is perfectly capable of contributing a quality start or something close to it, and if he doesn’t, the Braves will have their bullpen ready.

The Braves really need a top start from him because falling in a 1-2 hole could put them with their backs against the wall: playing in Philadelphia facing elimination is definitely a scenario that Atlanta wants to avoid at all costs.

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