2013 NLDS: Braves starting rotation is young, very good

Kris Medlen - Game 1 starter for the Braves - Scott Cunningham

Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran are expected to start the first three games of the NLDS for the Braves, and the fourth spot could go to Paul Maholm or Freddy Garcia.

Reigning National League pitcher of the month Kris Medlen will face the Dodgers in Game 1 of their Divisional Series. The right-hander was 4-0 in September and began to resemble the 2012 version that was the hottest pitcher in the league at the end of the year.  Medlen is also the post-season veteran of the opening trio, Medlen started the Wild Card game against the Cardinals last season and he got the loss in a defensively challenged game for Atlanta.

Left-hander Mike Minor is being mentioned as the Game 2 starter, Minor had career highs in games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts.  Minor had the opposite of Medlen's September going 0-4 with an 3.94 ERA.  He pitched better on the road than at home though starting at home is certainly welcome to someone making his first post-season start.

Julio Teheran is also making his post-season debut as the probable Game 3 starter against another pitcher making his post-season debut, Dodger left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu.  Teheran in his first full MLB season had a successful season, 185 innings pitched, solid 3.20 ERA, a great 3.78 SO/BB ratio and a 14-8 record.

Two pitchers could pitch Game 4 if necessary for the Braves:

Left-handed Paul Maholm started 26 games for the Braves and averaged a little less than 6 innings a start, Maholm will also be making his post-season debut (Years with the Pirates is one key reason of not pitching in post-season.)  His strikeouts went down and teams batted more hits vs innings pitched against Maholm.

Freddy Garcia was a late-season addition for the Braves and he could also start next Monday if necessary.  Garcia had started 10 post-season games in his career prior to coming to the Braves just prior to playoff participation cut-off on August 31.  Garcia has only started three games for the Braves and if you don't start him; he wouldn't appear to be a candidate for the bullpen.

The Braves may not have a couple of Cy Young winners on their staff but their top 3 are certainly capable of pitching good games against the Dodgers.

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