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Series preview: Snakes versus the Male Native American Warrior types

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Is this an illusion? Are we actually playing better? The record implies that is the case, but it could simply be the last vestiges of the karma that was associated with the Heath Bell Experiment and the Trevor Cahill Chronicles have finally abated. After all of this time, it appears that we're catching the Braves in a rebuilding process that looks something akin to a full blown remodel. They happen to be 11 games below the mount .500 base camp whereas our intrepid explorers have gone ahead and used the facilities there before forgetting their canteens in the crevasse just below. This series is the beginning of a long an arduous trek through humidity central and I hope that we packed extra clothes because it's sure to be sweaty.

little known fact, the back of Fredi Gonzales head is also used by Braves staff to dry their hands
little known fact, the back of Fredi Gonzales head is also used by Braves staff to dry their hands
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BIG MO'

The Bravos are 4-6 in their last ten and that may have as much to do with Freddie Freeman on the DL than anything else.  These guys are almost unrecognizable from the squad that broke camp outside of Julio Tehran and Andrelton Simmons and the aforementioned DBacks killer Freeman.  There are some building blocks in place with Simmons, Freeman, Tehran and Shelby Miller but there's going to be a certain amount of discovery going on as they are treating the rest of the season as an audition for their younger talent.

STARTING PITCHERS

Robbie Ray (3-7/3.13/1.17) vs. Julio Teheran (7-6/4.57/1.37)

We could have had Teheran instead of Delgado (or so it has been rumoured) and sometimes, I gaze into the clouds and never ever think about this at all.  I will let our local sabre aficionados discuss those pros and cons to analyze that deal and the values obtained and lost wherein.

Patrick Corbin (2-3/4.08/1.25)  vs. Mike Foltynewicz(4-3/5.23/1.59)

Sure looks like someone enjoys some run support, maybe he's the Atlanta version of the 2014 Chase Anderson.  All I can see is that it appears that he's touchable and with that in mind, my guess is he tosses a three game shutout against us (see how I got that reverse mojo working?)

Rubby DeLaRosa (10-5/4.55/1.29) vs. Shelby Miller (5-9/2.48/1.17)

Miller sports a gaudy 4.0 WAR number, but it appears that the Braves forget to bring their sticks to the game when he's humping the bump.  Dunno what that means for us, as the DBacks can beat the best and struggle mightily against the frightfully nondescript.  We've seen an awful lot of the good Rubby lately, does he linger or is he gone like the one sane lady that you like after she meets your family?

TACO FACTOR

1 out of 3 - My guess is that the bats have to regress just a bit outside the comfy confines of the Former BOB, and I would love to see it continue but my guess is that we'll not manage to put up 30+ runs on the Braves, although that would be kind of spiffy.

NEW FACES

The Uptons are gone, Fabulous Freddie is on the DL,   The Braves have traded away Wood, Johnson and Johnson (Jim and Chris) and we see Michael Bourn (limber up Mr. Castillo, because he's the Jason Bourne of the basepaths or at least he used to be) and Nick Swisher.  Plus we get to see Nick Markakis (who is quietly awesome imho) and a bunch of guys who are still establishing their major league credentials as they are up and comers and fringe guys who are trying to take advantage of their opportunities.  Keep a lineup card with pencil on this group.  In a way, it's like how a bunch of people feel about Arizona, we have Goldy and that Pollock fella and who are the rest of these guys.

WAR PARTY

4.0 - Shelby Miller

1.9 - Freeman, Maybin

1.7 - Pierczynski, Markakis

MADE UP FACT

Joey Terdoslavich's nickname is The Duece