Blue Jays Series Preview: Atlanta Braves ripe for the picking

3 of 5

Sep 7, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1: Tuesday, September 15th  –  7:10 ET
Mark Buehrle (14-7, 3.72)  vs.  Julio Teheran (10-7, 4.38)

This figures to be the most important start of Buehrle’s season. With the successful (knock on wood) return of Marcus Stroman, the veteran lefty could soon begin to feel the pinch if Toronto chooses to shrink to a four-man playoff rotation. Regardless, Buehrle can make Toronto’s decision an easy one with some strong outings down the stretch.

Buehrle hasn’t pitched in over a week and is coming off a cortisone shot in his throwing shoulder, so he should return in better shape physically. His most recent outing saw him allow five earned runs on nine hits over 3.1 innings, so there’s nowhere to go but up. Perhaps Buehrle will benefit most from a soft Atlanta lineup.

The Braves will counter with Teheran, the volatile righty who’s recently followed up an eight-run blowup with two strong outings. His last trip to the mound, Teheran allowed just one earned over seven innings, albeit against the Phillies. Control can be spotty with this pitcher, but frankly, there’s nothing out of the ordinary to fear in the opener.

Next: Game 2 Preview: Ace vs. Bad-luck Ace