Description: Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the loss to the Rays on Tuesday.
Insight: Pierzynski scored the Braves third run in the second inning, but Atlanta wouldn't score again in the game. The catcher is hitting .306 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 85 at-bats this season.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran pitched 5 2/3 innings on Saturday, allowing two runs, one earned in the victory over the Marlins on Friday.
Insight: Teheran yielded nine hits, struck out five and walked one, but he did not receive the win. Teheran left with the lead, but the Braves had to reclaim it in the eighth. Teheran is 3-1 with a 4.33 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, so his numbers are somewhat less than desirable.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is just 1-for-15 against Reds right-hander Mike Leake.
Insight: At least the one hit is a home run. Freeman is also hitting .328 with five home runs, a league-leading 14 doubles and 18 RBI in 119 at-bats this season. However, this matchup should probably be avoided. There is also a chance of rain in Cincinnati this evening.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran continues to struggle this season.
Insight: Teheran threw five innings and allowed six runs on 10 hits versus the Nationals on Saturday. Luckily, his offense bailed him out, so he didn't receive a decision. He is 3-1 with a 4.74 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 34 strikeouts and 17 walks in 38 innings this season.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is just 1-for-14 with five strikeouts against Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang.
Insight: Freeman was 2-for-4 on Sunday, getting an RBI-double in the first inning. Freeman is hitting .284 with four home runs and 11 RBI this season, but Harang has pitched well all season and should win this matchup ... again.
Description: Braves right-hander Shelby Miller pitched well on Thursday, throwing seven innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits, but it wasn't enough as the Reds won, 5-1.
Insight: Miller and Reds Mike Leake were in a scoreless pitching duel until the sixth where Miller finally allowed a run. Then, Miller allowed two solo bombs in the seventh. He also struck out nine and walked three. Miller is 3-1 this season with a 2.17 ERA.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 4-for-6 with four RBI in the, 13-12, loss to the Nationals on Tuesday.
Insight: Freeman also had three runs scored as Atlanta jumped out to a, 9-1, lead in the second innning. Washington slowly chipped away, and finally took the lead in the ninth. Freeman is hitting .286 with four home runs and eight RBI this season.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran allowed three runs, one earned on two hits in the, 5-3, victory over the Mets on Saturday.
Insight: Teheran pitched six shutout innings to start the game, but he lost his control in the seventh. He walked two batters, hit another and allowed a single, which combined with an error, allowed two runs to score. Atlanta's bullpen, however, minimized the damage. Teheran is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is a stunning 9-for-15 (.600) with six RBI and a 1.400 OPS against Miami starter Mat Latos.
Insight: Freeman's 2014 was a bit of a disappointment after his improvements of the previous two seasons, but he's still a solid fantasy option. The offseason has not been kind to the Braves lineup (no Evan Gattis, Jason Heyward, or Justin Upton) therefore returning to the 100 RBI level might be too much to ask of Freeman.
Description: Braves sent left fielder Carlos Quentin packing just a few hours after acquiring him in a deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to the Padres.
Insight: Quentin has dealt with knee issues the past few seasons and hasn't been a reliable producer. He's likely to find it hard to sign with another team, so fantasy owners can continue to ignore him.
Description: Braves center fielder Melvin Upton has been reunited with his brother, Justin, in San Diego.
Insight: Atlanta wanted to dump Upton's contract, which is $14.45 million this year and more than $15 million each of the next two seasons. San Diego also acquired closer Craig Kimbrel in the deal. Upton is projected to play in the outfield somewhere, but that is unknown at the moment as Justin Upton, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp were already in the outfield for the Padres.
Description: Braves center fielder Melvin Upton (sesamoiditis in left foot) was officially placed on the disabled list.
Insight: Upton is not expected to return until mid-May. Eric Young Jr. will get a shot at the starting job and if he gets off to a fast start, Upton may not be able to get back into the starting lineup. Upton batted just .208 last season with 12 HR and 35 RBI in 519 at-bats.
Description: Twins pitcher Ervin Santana will be suspended 80 games for testing positive for Stanozolol.
Insight: Santana signed a four-year, $55 million contract this offseason with the Twins, so even though the team will not have to pay him while he is suspended, this is a big blow for Minnesota and first-year manager Paul Molitor. Mike Pelfrey is expected to replace Santana in the rotation, but he isn't fantasy relevant.
Description: Braves have released pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
Insight: it was just two weeks ago that manager Fredi Gonzalez said he had won a spot in the rotation. Rodriguez pitched horribly in limited action last season for the Pirates and won't get a chance in Atlanta. The trade for pitcher Trevor Cahill Thursday night made sure of that.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor (left rotator cuff inflammation) is expected to begin throwing again this week, according to Braves beat writer Mark Bowman.
Insight: Minor didn't pitch well last season (6-12 with an inflated 4.77 ERA and 1.438 WHIP), but if he can regain his 2013 form he'd be a solid fantasy option. In 2013 he posted a 13-9 record with a solid 3.21 ERA and 1.090 WHIP. He likely won't be ready until May.
Description: Braves pitcher Wandy Rodriguez has won a spot in the Atlanta starting rotation, according to manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Insight: The left-hander is 2-0 this spring with a 0.69 ERA and a 1.077 ERA. Rodriguez pitched horribly in limited action last season for the Pirates before a knee injury. Hopefully his spring numbers show he healthy, but he's still a high-risk pick for fantasy owners.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to right wrist discomfort.
Insight: It is not yet known how serious the injury is. Gattis could have a big fantasy season, starting in his first season in Houston. He has 43 home runs in 783 career plate appearances, but owners will want to monitor this wrist discomfort before drafting Gattis.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor is dealing with left rotator cuff inflammation, according to David O'Brian of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Insight: He is expected to sit for the next two weeks. Minor didn't pitch well last season going 6-12 with an inflated 4.77 ERA and 1.438 WHIP. That was a huge drop from 2013 when he posted a 13-9 record with a solid 3.21 ERA and 1.090 WHIP. This injury won't help his chances to rebound and fantasy owners should take a wait and see attitude.
Description: Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons is dealing with an oblique strain that will keep him out of the lineup for about a week.
Insight: He's a great glove man, but his fantasy value is limited by a mediocre bat. He hit .244 last season with seven homers, 46 RBI, 44 runs and four steals. He did hit 17 HR in 2013, so there may still be hope as he's only 25-years-old.
Description: Braves center fielder Melvin Upton will likely begin the season on the disabled list after being diagnosed with sesamoiditis.
Insight: Sesamoiditis is a condition when the bone behind the foot becomes inflamed. Upton will not resume baseball activities until the beginning of April at the earliest, which is unforunate because he is need of a bounce-back year. Eric Young Jr., Eury Perez, and Zoilo Almonte are the candidates to fill in for Upton.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is sitting out on Sunday.
Insight: Barring a pinch-hitting appearance, Upton finishes an impressive year slashing .270/.342/.491 with 29 homers and 102 RBI. His brother B.J. is sitting as well today. Ryan Doumit and Emilio Bonifacio are starting in left field and center field, respectively.
Description: Braves starter Aaron Harang earns victory in final start of season.
Insight: Harang had a solid season for Atlanta, and he concluded his year with a solid start against Philadelphia. He went 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball, allowing eight hits and two walks, while striking out five. Harang is now 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA, but almost lost his victory, as Craig Kimbrel loaded the bases in the ninth. However, Kimbrel escaped with his 46th save of the year, getting Ben Revere to line out to end the contest .
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton goes over the century mark for RBI in 2014.
Insight: He was 2-for-4 with his 29th dinger of the season, off A.J. Burnett in the seventh inning. Now with 102 RBI and a .270 average, Upton has proven to be a valuable acquisition in his two seasons with the Braves.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is back in the Braves starting lineup on Thursday against the Pirates.
Insight: Thursday will be Gattis' first start since Sept. 7. The catcher has been battling strep throat and kidney stone for nearly the past three weeks. He will start at catcher and bat sixth, but he is expected to only play five innings.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is a career .571 (8-for-14) hitter with four doubles against Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez.
Insight: Upton has really struggled in September, hitting just .134 in 67 at-bats, but he slugged his 28th home run of the season on Wednesday, going 2-for-4. He is sitting on 99 RBI, which gives him a great chance to reach 100 for the first time in his career.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran pitches well enough to beat Pittsburgh.
Insight: Atlanta staked him to a 6-0 lead, and Teheran was able to do enough to earn his 14th victory. He went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits, and struck out six. Teheran has an impressive 2.89 ERA on the year.
Description: Braves left-hander Alex Wood pitches well in loss to Pittsburgh.
Insight: Now with an 11-11 record, Wood went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, while striking out six. Wood owns an impressive 2.78 ERA, and will be a valuable fantasy starter heading into 2015.
Description: Braves starter Aaron Harang allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked two but lost to the Pirates, 1-0, on Monday.
Insight: Harang has yielded just three runs in three starts over his last 21 innings, but he has lost two of those games. Harang is 11-12 with a 3.60 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 197 2/3 innings this season.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor was removed after just one inning Saturday night, with shoulder discomfort.
Insight: He will probably be shelved for the season, as he missed the first month of the season with shoulder tendinitis. Minor likely finishes the year at 6-11 with a 4.77 ERA. He will look to rebound in 2015.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is not in Friday's lineup against the Mets.
Insight: Heyward left Wednesday's game with a left thumb injury. Although the x-rays came back negative, his thumb is still swollen. He is listed as day-to-day and could be available late in the game on Friday.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is still not back in the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: The Braves were hoping to have him back for last weekend, but that didn't happen. He's now missed nine starts in a row due to strept throat and with the Braves hopes fading fast we're not sure when he'll return. The catcher is hitting .270/.325/.507 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 359 at-bats this year.
Description: Braves left-hander Alex Wood needs to continue with his hot play, if Atlanta wants to stay in the playoff race.
Insight: Atlanta is hanging on by a thread, but that is no fault of Wood's. He is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA over his past three starts. Wood probably deserves some more wins (10-10 record overall), but he has still continued to be an impact pitcher for the Braves.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is still not back in the lineup Tuesday.
Insight: The Braves were hoping Gattis would DH this weekend in Texas, but that didn't happen. He's now missed eight starts in a row due to strept throat. The catcher is hitting .270/.325/.507 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 359 at-bats this year.
Description: Braves utilityman Emilio Bonifacio getting the night off.
Insight: Atlanta is smartly giving him a night to refresh himself, with the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg heading into town. Bonifacio has struggled big-time throughout his career against Washington's ace (1-for-10), and combined with the fact he is hitting only .143 with one extra base hit over the past 14 days, makes the move an appropriate one by Braves' manager, Fredi Gonzalez. Bonifacio should be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Description: Braves right-hander Ervin Santana has been fantastic at home this season, but has struggled during his previous three starts, overall.
Insight: Santana owns a healthy 14-8 record with a 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 2014, and is even better at Turner Field (10-2, 3.51 ERA). However, heading into tonight's start against the Nationals, Santana is coming of a string of three starts where he has posted a 1-1 record and a rough ERA of 5.29. Owners will be hoping for some home cooking tonight, to get Santana back on track.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is a career .419 hitter (13-for-31) against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg with a home run and a 1.099 OPS.
Insight: Heyward is batting .316 for the week and could be ready to take advantage of this favorable matchup. On the season, he's hitting .274 with 11 homers, 58 RBI, 70 runs, 19 steals and a .745 OPS.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis will not return on Sunday.
Insight: The Braves were hoping Gattis would DH this weekend in Texas, but that will not happen. The catcher is hitting .270/.325/.507 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 359 at-bats this year. Gattis has ben out since Monday with strep throat.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran pitched a complete game and did not allow an earned run, but lost to the Rangers, 3-2, on Saturday.
Insight: Atlanta took an early 2-0 lead, but a Justin Upton error extended the Rangers half of the sixth. Elvis Andrus singled to drive in a run and Rougned Odor doubled to score two runs as Texas took the lead. This is the second time this season Teheran pitched a complete game and lost. He is 13-12 with a 2.89 ERA and 174 strikeouts.
Description: Atlanta center fielder B.J. Upton is a career .474 hitter (9-for-19) with four extra-base hits and a 1.384 OPS versus Texas starter Derek Holland.
Insight: He's also stolen three bases with Holland on the mound. That's the good news. The bad news is Upton is batting .207 this season with 11 homers and 34 RBI and just 1-for-9 in three games this week.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis was out Monday due to strep throat and is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: The Braves are starting Gerald Laird behind the plate while Gattis is ill, but the backup has very little fantasy value. Gattis has 22 home runs and a .832 OPS this season. he's expected to miss a couple of days.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran pitched five and 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked none in a loss against the Marlins on Sunday.
Insight: It was the shortest outing for Teheran since July 8 and most runs he has allowed since Aug. 11. At one point, Teheran was 8-5 with a 2.29 ERA, but his ERA has increased every month this year. He stands at 13-11 with a 3.00 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 201 innings.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis went 3-for-5, including an inside-the-park home run in the top of the tenth to give Atlanta a, 4-3, victory over Miami on Saturday.
Insight: It was the biggest offensive production day for the catcher since late July. Gattis should get extra fantasy points for chugging around the bases for the game-winning home run, but owners will take it. Gattis is hitting .271 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI this year.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is not in Wednesday afternoon's starting lineup. He's been dealing with a bruised left triceps which forced him out of Tuesday's contest.
Insight: Upton is putting together his best season since 2011. The left fielder has 91 RBI with still a month left to go. He is also hitting .285 with 26 home runs, 30 doubles, 70 runs and seven stolen bases.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is a career .364 hitter with two home runs and a 1.146 OPS versus Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
Insight: Upton is putting together his best season since 2011. The left fielder has 91 RBI with still a month left to go. He is also hitting .288 with 26 home runs, 30 doubles, 70 runs and seven stolen bases.
Description: Atlanta center fielder B.J. Upton should be getting Monday afternoon off as he's never figured out Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels.
Insight: Upton is hitless in 18 tries against Hamels. The best he's managed is a walk and he's struck out five times. We suspect you weren't tempted on using Upton anyway, what with his .207 batting average and .607 OPS. Update: Upton is not in the starting lineup.
Description: Evan Gattis went 1-for-4 with a solo home on Sunday against the Marlins.
Insight: Gattis was not a smart start on Sunday due to his 0-for-8 with four strikeouts lifetime performance against Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi. The catcher rewarded his loyal owners with a solo shot in the second inning as the Braves defeated the Marlins, 1-0.
Description: Braves starter Alex Wood threw eight shut out innings and was relieved only for a pinch hitter as Atlanta scratched out a 1-0 victory over Miami on Sunday.
Insight: Wood's work finally paid off on Sunday. Wood threw seven quality innings in each of his last two starts but failed to earn a victory. The pitcher also allowed five hits, struck out 12 and no walks. The 23-year-old lowers his ERA to 2.92 and improves his record to 10-10.
Description: Leave Braves catcher Evan Gattis on your bench Sunday.
Insight: Gattis is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi. Gattis has produced 20 homers this season and no matter where he plays next season as long as he's eligible as a catcher he's be a fantasy-worthy starter. But not Sunday in this unfavorable matchup.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a home run on Friday against the Marlins.
Insight: The big night gives Upton a new career-high for RBI in a season. The left fielder has 91 with still a month left to go. He is also hitting .288 with 26 home runs, 30 doubles, 70 runs and seven stolen bases.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Gerald Laird will get the start. Laird is a solid backstop, but not much of a fantasy value with a .219 batting average. Gattis has struggled since he returned from a bulging disk in his back, but his second consecutive 20 home run season makes him a top fantasy backstop.
Description: Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel tied Francisco Rodriguez and Trevor Rosenthal for the NL lead with 39 saves Wednesday against the Mets.
Insight: Kimbrel had a 2.45 ERA after blowing a save on June 20, but he's allowed just two runs on nine hits in his last 21 2/3 innings. He has a 1.73 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 52 innings this season.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Wednesday.
Insight: Heyward has batted an impressive .336 over his last 38 games, but with just three homers during that span. On the season, he's hitting .270 with 11 homers, 53 RBI, 66 runs, 14 steals and a .742 OPS.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran has allowed three runs on 11 hits over 18 1/3 innings his last three starts, winning all three.
Insight: Teheran allowed 11 runs on 18 hits in 13 1/3 innings his first two starts this month. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings Wednesday in a win over the Mets. He's 13-9 with a 2.90 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 189 innings this season.
Description: Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is a 2-for-17 (.118) career hitter against Mets starter Zack Wheeler.
Insight: Overall, Johnson has had a disappointing season after hitting .321/.358/.457 last year. The third baseman is hitting .271 with nine home runs this year. He also has just one hit in his last 10 at-bats.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is a career .545 hitter (6-for-11) with a home run and five RBI against Mets starter Zack Wheeler.
Insight: Freeman has struggled the last week, batting .190 with just one extra-base hit. He did however, belt a double on Tuesday, so perhaps Freeman will come out of the mini slump versus Wheeler. Freeman is hitting .292 with 17 home runs and 68 RBI this year.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 12th inning Friday against the Reds. He went 3-for-6 on the night and also had a triple.
Insight: Upton has batted .324 with six homers, 23 RBI, 14 runs, 15 walks and a 1.099 OPS in August and he's 6-for-11 (.545) with a double and a homer against Reds starter Mike Leake. Make sure he's in your lineup Saturday.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor had a no-hitter through 7 2/3 innings Friday night against the Reds before allowing a hit to Billy Hamilton.
Insight: Hamilton's hit drove in Zack Cozart, who drew a one-out walk, to tie the game at one and Minor was removed after that so he took a no decision. The left-hander has had a miserable season, buthe seems to be moving in the right direction lately. Over his last three starts, he's allowed 13 hits and six runs while striking out 19 in 21 1/3 innings. He had a 7.33 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP in the 54 innings prior to that.
Description: Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is a 7-for-17 (.412) career hitter against Reds starter Mat Latos.
Insight: Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman also hit over .400 in their careers against Latos, so it could be a high scoring night for Atlanta. Jason Heyward also has a career average of .400 (4-for-10) against Latos. Any of them would be great starts. Johnson is hitting .274 with nine home runs and 53 RBI this season.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is a career .429 hitter against Reds starter Mat Latos.
Insight: Upton continues to swing a hot bat as he went 2-for-3 with two RBI in the series opener against the Reds on Thursday. Upton has now hit safely in 11 straight games and blasted five home runs with 19 RBI in his last 13 games.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran turned it around Thursday night with six shut out innings.
Insight: Nice production after posting a 1-2 record with a 6.05 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his previous three outings. Just three strikeouts is a bit concerning, but he's nearing his career high for inning pitched in a season and may be getting tired.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran might be a guy to avoid Thursday as he's posted a 1-2 record with a 6.05 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his last three outings.
Insight: Teheran has already thrown 176 2/3 IP and after Thursday's start will have matched last season's workload with more than a month to go. He may just be tiring and for that reason we don't recommend him.
Description: Atlanta starter Alex Wood took a shutout into the eighth inning Wednesday at Pittsburgh, but he allowed the first two men to reach base and Jordan Walden allowed both of them to score.
Insight: Wood walked away with two earned runs on four hits and four strikeouts in seven innings, plus a no decision. The 23-year-old left-hander is 9-9 with a 3.05 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 124 Ks in 130 innings this season. He's given up two earned runs or less in five straight starts.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Monday at Pittsburgh.
Insight: Heyward came into the game six for his last 35 (.171). He's hit 268 with 32 extra-base hits (10 HR), 47 RBI, 60 runs and 14 steals this season. Heyward's .157 average in 115 at-bats against left-handers is really dragging him down.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran struck out just one batter and walked three Saturday against Oakland, but he limited the Athletics to two runs on four hits in six innings to earn his 11th win.
Insight: Teheran allowed 11 runs on 18 hits in 13 1/3 innings his first two starts this month. He's been wearing down later in games lately, perhaps because he's not used to throwing this many innings in a season.
Description: Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella is out of the lineup Saturday against Oakland.
Insight: La Stella has gone 8-for-44 (.182) in August. He has one homer and two steals to go with a .274 average, 27 RBI, 21 runs and a .700 OPS this season, so he's not a good fantasy option. Phil Gosselin is starting at second base.
Description: Atlanta starter Alex Wood improved to 9-9 after tossing six innings of two-run ball against the Athletics Friday night.
Insight: Wood only struck out one batter after fanning 12 Nationals in 7 1/3 innings his last time out. The 23-year-old took his undeserved demotion to the bullpen in stride back in May and he's gone 4-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 57 Ks in 62 2/3 innings since he rejoined the rotation.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Friday. He's driven in a run in six straight games.
Insight: Upton left Thursday's game with a hamstring injury, but it was minor and he appears to be fine. He hasn't had a multi-hit game since July 30, but he's making his hits count (4 2B, 3 HR in August).
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is a career 7-for-12 (.583) against Oakland starter Jason Hammel.
Insight: Although Heyward is producing well below what fantasy owners (and Braves fans) think he should based on his talent level, he has batted .329 over the past four weeks to raise his average to a respectable .269.
Description: Braves starter Aaron Harang was knocked around by the Dodgers Thursday afternoon and left in the fifth inning.
Insight: Harang gave up seven hits, three walks and five earned runs, including a home run by catcher Drew Butera. Harang had pitched well in five of his previous six outings so hopefully this is just a small bump in the road.
Description: Braves starter Ervin Santana struck out nine and allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings Wednesday against the Dodgers to improve to 12-6.
Insight: With one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball, Santana was bound to see his strikeout rate improve. He's struck out 40 batters in his last 34 innings and 137 in 150 innings on the year. The right-hander has won seven of his last eight decisions, including five straight.
Description: Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella is out of the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: La Stella was in the lineup Tuesday after leaving Monday's game with a hamstring cramp, so his absence Wednesday has more to do with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu starting than any injury. La Stella is actually hitting .346 against lefties this season, but Fredi Gonzalez opted to get an extra righty in the lineup at second base.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: It was Minor's first start since Aug. 1. The Braves skipped him after he gave up 85 hits (12 HR), 44 earned runs and 17 walks in 54 innings (7.33 ERA, 1.89 WHIP) his previous 10 starts. He's still not trustworthy at this point.
Description: Braves starter Julio Teheran held the Dodgers scoreless through the first five innings Monday night, but he gave up three runs in the sixth and was charged with two more in the eighth.
Insight: Teheran gave up nine hits and walked two in 7 1/3 innings. The right-hander has recorded a 5.24 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in his last seven starts. He had a 2.29 ERA on July 2 but is up to 3.06 after Monday's start.
Description: Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella left Monday's game with a cramp in his upper right hamstring, but he's expected to play Tuesday. SOURCE: Mark Bowman, mlb.com
Insight: La Stella (.284, 1 HR, 26 RBI) has no pop or speed and his range is mediocre, but he's provided the Braves with stability at second base after they dealt with bumbling Dan Uggla the past few years. His OBP is .366.
Description: Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons left last Tuesday's game with a left ankle sprain and while manager Fredi Gonzalez says he's feeling better he's shooting for a Tuesday return.
Insight: Simmons is a great glove man, but he's hitting .249 with five home runs and a .637 OPS, so he isn't a good fantasy option. Update: Simmons is not in Monday's lineup. Emilio Bonifacio will get the start.
Description: Braves reliever Jonny Venters threw a 15-pitch session last week.
Insight: A dominant setup man early in his career, the hard-throwing lefty hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012 after Tommy John surgery and a setback-filled recovery. He's hoping to return is September, but what fantasy owners could get from him is unknown, and probably not worth a roster spot.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward has hit a paltry .155 with 25 Ks and a .454 OPS against lefties this season and he'll face Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez on Sunday. He's 5-for-23 (.217) against Gonzalez.
Insight: Heyward has hit .388 with one homer, 12 RBI, 15 runs, four steals and a .969 OPS in his last 22 games, but his horrible numbers against left-handers and Gonzalez in particular make him a poor option Sunday.
Description: The Braves will skip Mike Minor's next start after he allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings Friday at San Diego. SOURCE: David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Insight: The Braves off days on Monday and Thursday this week allow them to skip Minor and still keep the other four starters on regular rest. In his last 10 starts, Minor has given up 85 hits (12 HR), 44 earned runs and 17 walks in 54 innings (7.33 ERA, 1.89 WHIP). He's allowed line drives at a 25.8 percent rate and a home run on 15.9 percent of his fly balls. At this point, fantasy owners should just move on.
Description: The Cubs have traded utilityman Emilio Bonifacio to the Atlanta Braves along with lefty reliever James Russell.
Insight: Bonifacio has hit .400 with four doubles, a homer and a steal since he came off the disabled list on July 22. He'll likely fill in at second and in the outfield for the Braves but won't play every day.
Description: Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel went the final inning on Monday and struck out all three men he faced.
Insight: It was the ninth time he's struck out the side in 44 appearances. He's also struck out two batters in an inning 17 times. It was Kimbrel's 32nd save of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.94 and WHIP to 0.888.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor beat the Padres Sunday, but it wasn't exactly an encouraging start for the left-hander.
Insight: Minor allowed three runs on eight hits (2 HR) in 6 2/3 innings to the light-hitting Padres. The 26-year-old has given up 76 hits (10 HR) and 39 earned runs in his last 49 innings (7.16 ERA, 1.86 WHIP). Minor entered Sunday's start with a 26.5 percent line-drive rate and he now has a 15.2 percent HR/FB. It's safe to cut him in re-draft leagues.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is just 1-for-7 since his return from the disabled list, but has a favorable matchup Thursday.
Insight: Gattis was dealing with a bulging thoracic disc in his back. He's 5-for-7 (.714) versus Miami starter Henderson Alvarez. Gattis has a .286 average, 16 homers, 39 RBI and a .884 OPS this season.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman came into Wednesday with one hit in his last 24 at-bats, zero homers since June 27 and three hits in 23 career at-bats against Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi, so of course he went deep off Eovaldi in the second inning.
Insight: It appears Freeman was "due." He'll try to keep it going Thursday against Henderson Alvarez (6-5, 2.64 ERA).
Description: Braves starter Ervin Santana struck out 10 batters and allowed one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings in a win over the Marlins Wednesday night.
Insight: Santana (9-6, 3.87 ERA) has a career-high chase rate and a career-low contact rate, which have resulted in his best K/9 since 2008 (7.81). He's allowed just 0.66 HR/9 after giving up at least 0.93 HR/9 in every season in his career.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor was roughed up again Tuesday against the Marlins. He gave up 10 hits and six runs in three innings.
Insight: Over his last eight starts, Minor has allowed 68 hits (8 HR), 14 walks and 36 earned runs in 42 1/3 innings (7.65 ERA, 1.94 WHIP). The 26-year-old was excellent last season, going 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, but nothing's gone right in 2014. He began the season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and has gone 3-6 with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis (back) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Insight: Gattis is dealing with a bulging thoracic disc in his back. He's expected to play 3-4 games in the minors before returning to the Braves' lineup. Gattis has a .290 average, 16 homers, 39 RBI and a .900 OPS this season.
Description: Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella had three hits and three RBI Sunday against the Cubs.
Insight: La Stella has batted .292 in his first 154 major league at-bats, but he has zero home runs and just two steals. While he's a huge upgrade over Dan Uggla and Tyler Pastornicky, he's not a good fantasy option.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is 8-for-21 (.381) with a homer and six walks against Mets starter Dillon Gee.
Insight: Heyward went 3-for-4 Tuesday but has gone just 10-for-57 (.175) with two extra-base hits in his last 17 games and is hitting .247 with a .705 OPS on the year. He should only be used when the matchup is perfect, and Wednesday is one of those occasions.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis (back) isn't ready to start baseball activities yet, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Insight: Gattis is dealing with a bulging thoracic disc in his back and is unlikely to be ready to return immediately after the All-Star break. He has a .290 average, 16 homers, 39 RBI and a .900 OPS this season.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman walked three times and scored four runs Saturday at Philadelphia.
Insight: Freeman went 9-for-57 (.158) from May 30 to June 14 and watched his average fall to .272, but he's batted .370 with six doubles, a triple, two homers, five RBI and 13 runs in 13 games since then.
Description: Atlanta starter Alex Wood improved to 6-6 with Wednesday's win over Houston.
Insight: Wood kept the Astros off the scoreboard while only allowing three hits in seven innings. With Gavin Floyd (broken elbow) out for the year, Wood (6-6, 3.07 ERA) should be able to keep his spot in the starting rotation.
Description: Atlanta catcher Evan Gattis extended his hitting streak to 20 games Saturday in a win over Washington.
Insight: Gattis leads all big league catchers in home runs (16), is second in RBI (39) and would be third in batting average (.298) if he had enough at bats to qualify. Gattis has been a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year for the Braves.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton is back in the starting lineup. He's missed the last few games because of dizziness. SOURCE: Mark Bowman, MLB.com
Insight: Doctors found that Upton's dizziness was being caused by sinus pressure. Upton has had a rough go of it in June, batting .189 in his last 53 at bats. We'd be hesitant to start him today against the Nationals.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton (dizziness) arrived to the ballpark Friday feeling worse than he had in the past couple of days. The Braves have sent him to undergo tests. SOURCE: Mark Bowman, mlb.com.
Insight: Upton (.276, 14 HR, 37 RBI) left Tuesday's game with lightheadedness due to an inner ear issue and has been dealing with symptoms over the past few days. He pinch hit Thursday but is now out indefinitely.
Description: Braves left-hander Alex Wood will return from the minors to start Wednesday against the Astros, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Insight: Wood had a 3.00 ERA and a 44/9 K/BB over 45 innings in his first seven starts this season, but the Braves moved him to the bullpen to accommodate Gavin Floyd. Floyd fractured his elbow Thursday night, so Wood will rejoin the rotation and should be added in all leagues.
Description: Braves starter Gavin Floyd has been diagnosed with a fracture of the olecranon (the bony point) in his right elbow.
Insight: He left Thursday's start with the injury. A close-up of Floyd's elbow revealed a swollen bump near the tip of the elbow. Floyd has gone 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2013. Alex Wood is likely to replace him in the rotation and should be added immediately.
Description: Braves left fielder Justin Upton sat out Wednesday's series finale against the Phillies, but hopes to be ready for Thursday's game against Washington.
Insight: Upton (.278, 14 HR, 37 RBI) left last night's game after feeling light-headed and still had symptoms on Wednesday. He's been much better at home (.333, 10 HR, 1.043 OPS) than on the road this season (.212, 4 HR, 10 RBI, .649 OPS).
Description: Braves starter Aaron Harang gave up 13 hits, three walks and nine runs (eight earned) in five innings Wednesday against the Phillies.
Insight: Harang (5-6, 3.83 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) has thrown 12 quality starts in 15 turns through the rotation this season but allowed 32 hits and 21 earned runs over 15 innings in his three worst outings. It's only a matter of time before the team brings talented young left-hander Alex Wood back up to replace Harang in the rotation.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against kyle Kendrick and the Phillies.
Insight: Routine day off. Gattis is having a great season, adding a solid batting average (.296) to the power he showed us last season. He's blasted 15 homers in 189 at-bats this season and should easily top last year's 21 home run total.
Description: Braves catcher Evan Gattis homered for the fifth time this month Saturday night against the Angels.
Insight: We knew Gattis had power -- he hit 21 homers in 354 at-bats last season -- but he's exceeded expectations in that category with 15 jacks in 181 at-bats while also hitting .293. He caught 11 innings Saturday before coming out for a pinch-runner, so he likely won't start Sunday.
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (hand) is in the lineup Saturday.
Insight: Heyward left Friday's game after being hit by a pitch on his right hand. He has hit .296 with four homers, 12 RBI, 14 runs and an .888 OPS in his last 17 games, but he's still hitting just .254 with a .715 OPS this season.
Description: Atlanta left fielder Justin Upton is just 1-for-16 (.063) with 10 strikeouts against Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin.
Insight: Upton returned to the lineup Wednesday after a hamstring injury forced him to leave Tuesday's game early. Thursday would be a good opportunity to give his hamstring additional rest. Update: Upton is not in the starting lineup.
Description: Braves starter Mike Minor gave up 11 hits and eight earned runs over four innings Tuesday at Colorado.
Insight: Atlanta gave Minor a 7-0 lead before he even stepped on the mound and a 10-6 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, but he couldn't stick around long enough to get a win. He went into Tuesday with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, but he stands at 4.31 and 1.42 after Tuesday. There aren't many pitchers you want to use against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Description: Braves third baseman Chris Johnson has gone 6-for-9 in his last two games.
Insight: Johnson is still hitting just .267 with two homers, 16 RBI, 13 runs and a .622 OPS. He batted .321 last year but that was boosted by a .394 BABIP. He's hit .339 on balls in play this year and his strikeout rate is up from 21.2 percent to 24.6 percent. You can probably do better at third base in your fantasy league.
Description: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman homered for the second time in three games Tuesday at Colorado.
Insight: Freeman has a line-drive rate of 34 percent, so while his BABIP of .317 is still above the league average he's actually been a bit unlucky. He's hit just .143 on grounders and .619 on line drives. The first baseman should be a .300 hitter in the long run, and he's also on pace for a career-high 28 homers.
Description: The Braves have optioned left-hander Alex Wood to Triple-A Gwinnett to stretch him out.
Insight: Wood had a 3.00 ERA and a 44/9 K/BB over 45 innings in his first seven starts this season, but the Braves moved him to the bullpen to accommodate Gavin Floyd. He's posted a 4.70 ERA in 15 1/3 innings as a reliever, though he actually won more games out of the bullpen than he did as a starter. It's unclear when he'll be back or whom he'll replace in Atlanta's rotation.
Description: Braves starter Ervin Santana had his best start in nearly a month Saturday at Arizona.
Insight: Santana (5-2, 3.69 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) gave up one run (zero earned) on six hits in seven innings. The right-hander had allowed 20 earned runs on 30 hits with 10 walks over 23 innings his previous four starts. Santana allowed more than 1.0 homers per nine innings in every season from 2009-13, but he's given up just 0.64 in 70 2/3 innings this season, his first in the NL.
Description: Atlanta relief pitcher Jordan Walden (hamstring) is throwing off a mound.
Insight: His fantasy value is limited as long as Craig Kimbrel is healthy, but he's always going to be a high strikeout-per-inning guy. He's got a 2.92 ERA. 1.14 WHIP and 19 Ks in 12 1/3 IP this season.
Description: Just promoted Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella will make another start on Thursday after going 2-for-4 in his major league debut on Wednesday night.
Insight: La Stella is a career .322 hitter with an .881 OPS and more walks than strikeouts in his minor-league career. He doesn't have much power or speed, but the Braves have received the worst production in baseball from their second basemen (.165/.253/.250).
Description: The Braves have promoted second baseman Tommy La Stella from Triple-A Gwinnett.
Insight: La Stella is a career .322 hitter with an .881 OPS and more walks than strikeouts in his minor-league career. He doesn't have much power or speed but could be a Matt Carpenter type of player. The Braves have received the worst production in baseball out of their second basemen (.165/.253/.250).
Description: Braves right fielder Jason Heyward hit a leadoff homer Tuesday against Boston but didn't have a hit in his last four at-bats.
Insight: Heyward had 27 homers and 21 stolen bases in 2012, but he has hit just 18 home runs and stolen 10 bases since then. He's batting .240 with a .670 OPS and four home runs and eight steals this year.