7:10 PM ET, September 23, 2013
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
Milwaukee: Estrada (6-4, 4.26 ERA)
Atlanta: Minor (13-7, 3.19 ERA)
After clinching the NL East on the road, the Atlanta Braves are set to return home to wrap up the regular season. The Braves will be trying to ensure that a majority of their playoff games will be played at Turner Field as well.
Tonight the Braves will try improve on their league-best record versus the Milwaukee Brewers, whom they’ve won eight straight against at home.
The Washington Nationals’ 4-2 defeat versus the Miami Marlins on Sunday officially clinched the division for Atlanta (92-63), who were still working on an eventual 5-2 road victory versus the Chicago Cubs.
The Braves currently own the majors’ best home record at 52-22 – and has their sights set on wrapping up home-field advantage in the NL playoffs. Atlanta is currently 1 1/2 games better than the St. Louis Cardinals for the league’s top record and have a game in hand.
After three contests versus the Brewers, Atlanta welcomes the Philadelphia Phillies for a season-ending four-game set.
The Braves will be sending Mike Minor (13-7, 3.19 ERA) to the mound tonight after going 1-0 and allowing one unearned run in 13 innings over two starts versus the Brewers in 2012, but the Braves would like to see him solve his recent first-inning difficulties.
All three of the runs he allowed during a six-inning start in a 6-5 defeat versus the Nationals on Tuesday came in the first frame. The left-hander surrendered eight first-inning runs over his last six starts and rivals own a .312 on-base percentage against him in the first inning this year compared to a .274 mark overall.
Milwaukee (69-86) wore the spoiler hat well in their home finale Sunday, claiming a 6-4 victory versus the Cardinals. YouWager expert consider the Brewers might represent some trouble for the Braves especially with scheduled starter Marco Estrada (6-4, 4.26).
The Mexico native is 2-0 with a 2.62 ERA in seven outings since returning from a strained left hamstring that kept him out for more than two months. Estrada has been especially good in four road starts during that stretch, limiting rivals to two runs over 24 2/3 innings with 23 strikeouts.