Series Preview: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Atlanta Braves

Sep 16, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) collides with Atlanta Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt (27) as he scores in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. The Blue Jays won 9-1. Betancourt was unable to hold onto the ball. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) collides with Atlanta Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt (27) as he scores in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. The Blue Jays won 9-1. Betancourt was unable to hold onto the ball. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto has won three consecutive series for the first time this season as they are on a five-game winning streak. The  Blue Jays recent run of good fortune has come at a time when the middle of the order is being more productive.

After sweeping the Seattle Mariners in a four-game series, the surging Toronto Blue Jays (17-21) welcome the Atlanta Braves (13-21) for a pair of games at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays will then play a pair of games at the Braves new home of SunTrust Park beginning on Wednesday night.

The Braves are coming off a series win against the Miami Marlins after losing five straight games. On the other hand, the Blue Jays have been the polar opposite as they head into this interleague matchup on a five-game winning streak.

Former Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is not scheduled to start in any of the games. Dickey pitched on Sunday in a 3-1 loss to Miami.

What You Need To Know

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Probable Starters

ROGERS CENTRE

Monday, May 15 7:07 p.m. ET

RHP Mike Bolsinger (0-1, 3.18 ERA) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (1-4, 7.22 ERA)

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Bolsinger remains in the Blue Jays rotation with left-hander Francisco Liriano on the 10-day DL. He made his first start of the season against Cleveland last Tuesday. The 29-year old pitched 5 2/3 innings as he allowed just two earned runs and walked four batters against the Tribe.

Colon has struggled a lot this season. Big Sexy has allowed 24 runs in his last five starts with 18 strikeouts in those outings. The former American League Cy Young Award winner is nowhere near his prime as his next start could be good or bad.

Tuesday, May 16 4:07 p.m. ET

RHP Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.13 ERA) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (1-2, 4.33 ERA)

Estrada struck out 10 batters against Seattle on Thursday after giving up a home run early in the game. He’s gone at least six innings in all but one start so far this season. His changeup-fastball combo continues to be a strong force on the mound and it could get in the way of this young Braves team.

Garcia’s slider has been less than consistent this season. The lefty’s command isn’t as strong as it was last season. He’ll look to shake off his horrific start in Houston on May 10.

SUNTRUST PARK

Wednesday, May 17 7:37 p.m. ET

RHP Joe Biagini (1-1, 2.28 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-4, 4.04 ERA)

This will mark Biagini’s third career start on Wednesday night in Atlanta. Biagini has delivered in his last two starts as he tossed nine innings between those starts. Blue Jays fans have seen what Biagini can do on the mound but what they haven’t seen is him in the batter’s box- which he’ll do for the first time.

After a rough start against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5, Foltynewicz rebounded by allowing just one earned run on six hits in his last start against the Marlins. Foltynewicz has shown some promise this season and he could very well be an ace for the Braves down the road.

Thursday, May 18 7:37 p.m. ET

RHP Marcus Stroman (3-2, 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 4-08 ERA)

Stroman had one of his best starts of the season on Saturday afternoon. He struck out 9 batters in that game which is the second highest for him on the season. With two complete games under his belt, Stroman will have to put on another stellar performance on the mound.

Teheran did not allow a run in his last start against the Marlins. He has had his ups and downs for this rebuilding Braves team as he has pitched in at least six innings in his last five starts.

Players to Watch

Fans of the Blue Jays and Braves will want to keep an eye out on centre field this week.

Kevin Pillar and Edner Inciarte have been showing some strides both offensively and defensively this season. Despite his .246 average, Inciarte has five home runs, 15 RBI, and seven stolen bases to his name this season.

Pillar is hitting .313 with five home runs, 12 RBI, and six stolen bases. One of the significant differences between the two is that Inciarte has a Gold Glove whereas Pillar does not.

Player Injuries

Toronto

3B Josh Donaldson (10-day DL strained right calf)

LHP J.A. Happ (10-day DL left elbow inflammation)

C Russell Martin (10-day DL nerve irritation, left shoulder)

LHP Francisco Liriano (10-day DL left shoulder inflammation)

OF Dalton Pompey (60-day DL concussion)

RHP Bo Schultz (60-day DL torn right UCL- out for season)

RHP Glenn Sparkman (60-day DL fractured right thumb)

SS Troy Tulowitzki (10-day DL strained right hamstring)

Atlanta

2B Micah Johnson (60-day DL fractured left wrist)

LHP Jacob Lindgren (60-day DL left elbow surgery out for season)

RHP Armando Rivero (10-day DL strained right shoulder)

2B Sean Rodriguez (60-day DL left shoulder surgery recovery)

RHP Chaz Roe (10-day DL right lat strain)

RHP Daniel Winkler (60-day DL right elbow surgery recovery)

Next: Blue Jays: A closer look at Stroman, the ace

The Blue Jays and Braves last played each other in 2015 when they split the season series. It’s only fitting these two teams meet in 2017 since it marks 25 years since they played against each other in the 1992 World Series.

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