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Braves Vs. Astros Preview: Atlanta Turns To Brandon Beachy In Houston

The Braves look for their first win of the season in Houston.

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Brandon Beachy #37 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the second inning of the game against the New York Mets at Turner Field on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Brandon Beachy #37 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the second inning of the game against the New York Mets at Turner Field on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
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The Atlanta Braves were one of just four teams to not claim a victory over opening weekend. They now prepare to face the Houston Astros, a team that was the worst in baseball last season. Despite their struggles in 2011, Houston played well against the Rockies and took the series, winning two out of the three games played.

More: Braves vs. Astros series preview

Looking at the Astros lineup, it's tough to find many recognizable names. Carlos Lee continues to hit for power in the cleanup spot, although he is an albatross in the field. Jordan Schafer, who was dealt to Houston in exchange for Michael Bourn last summer, is the starting center fielder and leadoff man. Left fielder J.D. Martinez got off to a strong start against Colorado, batting .375 with an OPS of 1.250 to this point in the year.

Brandon Beachy will make his first start of the season on Monday and will be opposed by lefty J.A. Happ. Tuesday night will feature Tommy Hanson against righty Kyle Weiland. Randall Delgado will make his debut as the club's No. 5 starter on Wednesday evening and will likely face Wandy Rodriguez.

All three games are scheduled for 8:05 ET.

Atlanta really should take at least two games this week, if not sweep. They will have the clear pitching advantage the first two nights, and Wandy Rodriguez is far from unhittable.

That being said, this was a club that did not record a hit off Jon Niese until the seventh inning on Sunday. It would probably be best to enter this series with cautious optimism.

For more on the club, head over to Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.