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Braves Prepare For Four-Game Series With Struggling, Selling Marlins

The Braves look to extend their five-game winning streak on Monday, a day they are yet to win on in 2012.

July 20, 2012; Washington, D.C. USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson (48) throws a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
July 20, 2012; Washington, D.C. USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson (48) throws a pitch during the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

The Atlanta Braves are on quite a role right now, winning their last five games and 15 of their last 20. The team is playing their best ball of the year, and they'll look to continue that against a Miami Marlins team that has changed drastically in the last week.

Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate have been traded to the Dodgers. Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante were dealt to the Tigers. Josh Johnson has been the subject of trade rumors all week, with just about every team in contention for the playoffs showing interest in the right-handed starter. He could be gone by the time Tuesday's trade deadline hits.

Mike Stanton will miss the series as he continues to recover from an injury. Logan Morrison is likely done for the year. Other than Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio, there aren't a whole lot of recognizable names on this roster anymore.

Funny how things change in baseball, no? Six months ago, "experts" were picking the Marlins to win the NL East and be darkhorse contenders for a World Series title. Now they're at least two or three years away from contending.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series. All four games are scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. start from Turner Field.

Monday - Tommy Hanson (11-5, 4.39 ERA) vs. Mark Buehrle (9-9, 3.31 ERA)

Tuesday - Kris Medlen (1-1, 2.48 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 4.80 ERA)

Wednesday - Ben Sheets (3-0, 0.50 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (5-9, 4.54 ERA)

Thursday - Mike Minor (6-7, 5.18 ERA) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 1.69 ERA)

It should probably be noted that all of these pitching matchups are not set in stone, with the exception of Monday. A trade (or trades) could alter the rotation for either team.

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