The Atlanta Braves enter the final leg of their nine-game homestand when they host the Miami Marlins for a mid-week three-game series.
The Braves (74-52) hold a 5 1/2 game lead over the Washington Nationals in the National League East. The Marlins (45-78) are in last place in the division, 27 1/2 games back, and have the worst record in the National League.
Josh Donaldson has gotten hot again and helped the Braves earn a big series win over Los Angeles last weekend. Over the last week, the veteran third baseman hit .476 with three homers and five RBIs. He got help from a couple of newcomers.
Since being called up, Adeiny Hechavarría and Rafael Ortega have fit right in and combined to 7-for-19 (.368) with a homer and five RBIs. The homer was a big one as Ortega hit a grand slam on Sunday to help the Braves beat the Dodgers.
Third baseman Brian Anderson continues to lead the Marlins, hitting .259 with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs. Shortstop Starlin Castro is hitting .260 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs.
Atlanta is 12-4 against the Marlins this season, and this will be the final meeting between the teams in 2019.
Following the series with Miami, the Braves will head out on a six-game, three-city road trip to New York, Colorado and Toronto.
Dallas Keuchel (3-5, 4.39 ERA) is scheduled to open the series and he is coming off arguably his best outing of the season. Last Wednesday, he threw six shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven in a 6-4 win over the New York Mets.
The Marlins are expected to start Elieser Hernandez (2-5, 5.40) who will try to bounce back after a rough outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hernandez allowed six runs in six innings in a 9-1 loss last week.
Julio Teheran (7-8, 3.71) will also try to rebound from his worst outing of the year when he starts on Wednesday. Last time out, Teheran allowed six runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings against the Mets. He is expected to face Caleb Smith (8-6, 3.63), who last time out pitched five innings of one run, one hit ball against the Dodgers.
Mike Soroka (10-2, 2.41) will try to get his first win since July 14 on Thursday. The Marlins are likely to send Sandy Alcantara (4-11, 4.35) in the finale.
ON THE AIR
All three games will air on Fox Sports Southeast and will begin at 7 p.m. The games can also be heard on 680 AM The Fan and Rock 100.5 FM.