Braves Weekly Watch: Rebuilding Reds and Royals are up next

After having two juggernauts on the calendar last week, the Atlanta Braves will look for a reprieve with series against the Cincinnati Reds and Kanas City Royals.

The Atlanta Braves manhandled the National League Central’s best this past week, but were brought back to earth a little bit with a difficult series against the San Diego Padres.

The Braves swept the St. Louis Cardinals, outscoring Oli Marmol’s crew 17-7 over the three games to begin the week. But after winning their home opener on Thursday, the Friars got the better of the Braves by taking three straight and outscoring Atlanta 19-7 in the process. But that’s baseball.

Atlanta also lost veteran catcher Travis d’Arnaud who was run over by Roughned Odor on Saturday night. d’Arnaud left the game with a concussion and was placed on the seven-day Injured List. Offseason acquisition Sean Murphy will likely get the lion’s share of starts behind the plate. As the Braves try to break out of their three-game slump with two rebuilding squads up next.

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Here’s what Atlanta Braves fans should be watching for this week:

April 10 vs. Cincinnati Reds

Projected Pitching Matchup: Bryce Elder vs. Graham Ashcraft

The Atlanta Braves will have to deal with right-hander Graham Ashcraft in Game 1. No one in the Atlanta starting lineup has faced the second-year pitcher yet, but his sinker/ cutter combination will not be easy for this Braves lineup. Bryce Elder toes the rubber for Atlanta on Monday night. Elder tossed six innings of shutout baseball in his 2023 debut.

April 11 vs. Cincinnati Reds

Projected Pitching Matchup: TBD vs. Luis Cessa

Brian Snitker hasn’t named a starter for Tuesday’s affair, but the Reds will send Luis Cessa, a reliever turned starter, to the mound. No matter who Atlanta selects, this should be a pitching matchup that favors the Braves. Ozzie Albies and Matt Olson will be looking to tee off on Cessa during Tuesday night’s clash.

April 12 vs. Cincinnati Reds

Projected Pitching Matchup: Spencer Strider vs. Hunter Greene

The Atlanta Braves draw the flamethrower Hunter Greene on Wednesday. Greene routinely throws 100 mph, but the former first-round pick has failed to get past the fifth inning in his previous two starts. The Braves will counter with their own hard-throwing right-hander in Spencer Strider .

April 14 vs. Kansas City Royals

Projected Pitching Matchup: TBD vs. TBD

The Braves will head to Kaufmann Stadium for a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals beginning on Friday. The Royals, just like the aforementioned Cincinnati Reds, are squarely in the midst of a rebuild. The Royals have been jockeying with the Tigers for the worst record in the AL Central and are currently a half-game clear of Detroit.

April 15 vs. Kansas City Royals

Projected Pitching Matchup: TBD vs. TBD

Injuries have rocked the Braves starting rotation with Max Fried and Kyle Wright on the Injured List. While the Atlanta Braves haven’t announced their starters for the series against the Kansas City Royals, look for Brian Snitker will likely call upon veteran Charlie Morton and a pair or left-handed rookies (Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd) at some point during the week.

April 16 vs. Kansas City Royals

Projected Pitching Matchup: TBD vs. TBD

The Atlanta Braves wrap up their visit to the City of Fountains on Sunday. Despite dropping 3-of-4 to the San Diego Padres last week, the Braves are still in first place atop the National League East. Will they still be there after this week? Six games against the rebuilding Reds and Royals, will certainly increase their chances.