Braves off Thursday before playing Texas

Alex Wood will pitch Friday night when the Braves start a series in Texas against the Rangers.

After salvaging a game in the series with the Nationals with a win Wednesday, the Braves are off Thursday before starting a three-game series in Texas against the team with the worst record in baseball. The Rangers are in a state of turmoil, as manager Ron Washington recently quit and they have spiraled out of control.

Atlanta is behind Pittsburgh by a game-and-a-half for the second wildcard spot. They are tied with Milwaukee with a 75-71 record. All four teams, including the top wildcard team San Francisco, won on Wednesday. The Marlins are three back of the Braves and Brewers while the Mets have won four in a row and are now four back of Atlanta.

The Braves are 23-28 since the All-Star Break and 58-64 since the 17-7 start in April.

Alex Wood will start off the series in Arlington against the Rangers Friday night. He’ll face Derek Holland, who has made two starts since coming back off the disabled list. Julio Teheran goes against Scott Baker Saturday afternoon, with Mike Minor against Colby Lewis in the series finale Sunday afternoon.

The Braves expect Evan Gattis back. He’s missed several games with strep throat. Expect Gattis to be Atlanta’s designated hitter against the Rangers.

Then it’s back to Atlanta for the Braves for the final homestand of the season, a 10-game set against Washington (September 15-17), New York Mets (September 19-21) and Pittsburgh (September 22-25).

Here are where the Braves rank in team offensive stats for the season: batting average (.243, tied for 7th-worst), on base percentage (.308, 8th-worst), slugging percentage (.367, 3rd-worst), OPS (.676, 5th-worst), strikeouts (1243, 4th-most) and runs scored (539, 2nd-worst).

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and e-mail him at

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