Today’s game starts at 1:05 pm EST.
Atlanta: Sean Newcomb 5-1, 2.39 ERA
Boston: Drew Pomeranz 1-2, 5.97 ERA
Drew Pomeranz will take the ball today on seven days rest, as he’s spent the last week trying to work out some mechanical kinks since he came back from the disabled list. When healthy, Pomeranz has been one of the most dependable Red Sox starters and for the most part, he’s been healthy. In his first full season in Boston in 2017, Pomeranz put up 173.2 innings of 3.32 ERA ball while accumulating 17 wins and striking out exactly one batter per inning.
Sean Newcomb has been absolutely dominant and even more so of late. Carrying a 2.39 ERA on the season and only one loss, in his last 7 games, Newcomb is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA and the Braves have won all of his last 5 starts. Part of that, is due to his BABIP dropping from .327 in 2017 to .256 in 2018 and fielding independent metrics predict some regression (FIP: 3.01; xFIP: 3.65). But the results are very real. This is a guy who can be a strong number 2 with borderline ace potential. His strikeout rate is closer to his numbers in the minors. His walk rate is down a bit, though still high. He will sit around 92-94 with the fastball most of the time but can look back for more. As I mentioned yesterday, keep an eye on this Braves team front to back. Very exciting squad.
Players to Watch
Atlanta: Based on what you read above, it should be no surprise that my player to watch today is Sean Newcomb. We could be watching a frontrunner in the NL Cy Young race. However, Newcomb has never faced these Red Sox and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to such a high-power offense.
Boston: Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez continue to chase history. With 17 and 16 home runs respectively, their 33 home runs top the next best duo Harper and Adams by 6 (27) and the “unstoppable” Judge & Stanton duo by 9 (24). This early in the season, that’s a pretty huge lead. Newcomb has only allowed 0.90 HR/9 in 2017 and a mere 0.51 HR/9 in 2018.