Series preview: vs. Cardinals



Time: 7:35 p.m.


Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Julio Teheran (10-8, 4.16 ERA) vs. RH Jaime Garcia (10-5, 2.36)

Comment: Teheran went 1-1 with a 1.91 ERA in September, allowing no more than two earned runs in any of his five starts. Teheran has faced the Cardinals just twice in his career, going 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA (four earned runs in 13 innings). Both of those starts came in 2013. The Cardinals have won 10 of Garcia's past 11 starts, while he's posted a 2.63 ERA. His control has been exceptional. Garcia has walked just 28 batters in 125 2/3 innings. He gave up one run in eight innings of a 5-1 win over the Brewers his last time out.

Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski took an eight-game hitting streak into Thursday night. He’s was hitting .440 (11-for-25) with a double and four RBIs over the streak. He had a pair of multi-hit games the last time he faced his former team, going 4-for-7 July 24 and 25 in St. Louis. The Braves had hit 96 home runs entering Thursday play, the fewest in the majors. The last time they had fewer than 100 home runs in a season was 1988 when they had 96. The Cardinals clinched the N.L. Central on Wednesday and will spend the weekend resting some regulars and backing down their pitchers.


Time: 7:10 p.m.


Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Shelby Miller (5-17, 3.15) vs. RH John Lackey (13-9, 2.69)

Comment: Miller faces his former team for the second time this season. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits in St. Louis on July 25. He lost 1-0 to Carlos Martinez that day in one of five starts this season in which he received no run support. This is his last chance to snap his winless streak that now stands at 24 starts. Lackey went 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in five starts in September, pitching seven or more innings each time. He's been the workhorse of the Cardinals' rotation, pitching 214 innings. Lackey is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two career starts against the Braves.


Time: 3:05 p.m.


Probable starting pitchers: Braves RH Matt Wisler (7-8, 5.11) vs. RH Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.06)

Comment: Wisler will close out the Braves season with his 19th start of an eventful rookie year. Since his seven-run outing in Washington on Sept. 3 when he lasted just five outs, Wisler has gone 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA while holding opponents to a .239 batting average. He got the win in a 2-1 game against the Nationals on Tuesday night at Turner Field. Lynn has pitched 11 shutout innings over his past two starts, walking four and striking out 10. Lynn is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in four career starts against the Braves. He went seven innings and allowed just two runs to beat the Braves the last time he faced them May 16, 2014.

- Carroll Rogers Walton