The San Francisco Giants look for a second straight win over the Atlanta Braves when the National League division leaders clash in the last of a three-game series on Sunday. The game is scheduled for a 1:20 p.m. ET first pitch at Trust Park in Atlanta.
The Giants evened up the series at a win apiece with a 5-0 victory on Saturday. San Francisco improved to 84-45 and is in first place in the NL West, leading the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers by 2½ games.
Atlanta lost for the third time in four games with Saturday’s loss, falling to 69-59. The Braves are atop the NL East standings by 4½ games over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies and 7½ games over the third-place New York Mets.
Next Man Up
The Giants continue to pile up the wins despite having injuries taking players out of the starting lineup from time to time. It’s reserves like LaMonte Wade Jr., Tommy La Stella and Darin Ruf that have kept San Francisco’s level of play high despite the problems.
La Stella had a first-inning home run on Saturday — his third straight game with an extra-base hit — as the Giants moved into position to win their 10th straight series with a victory on Sunday.
“You feel grateful that you can plug players into multiple positions and not miss too much of a beat,” San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said after Saturday’s win. “It allows us to be especially aggressive with our bench. It’s not the perfect situation; it’s not like we’re, you know, throwing out like star defenders at every position, but we do have a flexible, unselfish group who’s willing to play anywhere, and we’re trying our best to prepare them to be ready for those moments.”
The Giants could potentially get stronger on Sunday with the returns of Brandon Belt and Kris Bryant. Belt has been on the bereavement list but rejoined the team Saturday and could play on Sunday while Bryant could be back after leaving Friday’s game and sitting out Saturday with right side tightness.
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will make the start. The 31-year-old is 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA but hasn’t made a start since Aug. 18 due to right ankle inflammation.
DeSclafani also spent time on the injured list earlier this month for rest, and he came off the list for a win against Colorado in which he allowed two runs in five innings. He lasted just 1.1 innings in his last start against the Mets because of his ankle.
Also returning from the injured list for the start on Sunday is Braves right-hander Ian Anderson. The 23-year-old is 5-5 with a 3.56 ERA but has been sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Anderson last pitched on July 11, going just 2.1 innings against Miami and allowing four runs on six hits, including a home run. He’s lost four of his last five decisions after starting 4-1 with a 2.82 ERA.
The top four batters in the Atlanta lineup accounted for all of the team’s seven hits on Saturday night, but those hits were all singles. They also struck out a combined six times as the Braves were shut out for the first time since July 26.
First baseman Freddie Freeman has been lacking in power lately, going seven games without an RBI and managing just two extra-base hits — both doubles — over that span. The reigning NL MVP needs to get hot if the Braves are going to hang onto the division lead.
Giants Win Series
San Francisco has been the more consistent offensive team this season and that will continue on Sunday. DeSclafani should be able to keep the Atlanta offense quiet and help the Giants to another series win.
When doing your MLB betting, take San Francisco to win on the road.