The Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen had approximately the same pitch count coming into this season as the Nationals Stephen Strasburg as both are back this year from Tommy John Surgery (approx. 170 innings).
The difference is the Braves brain trust recognized it's a long season and strategically placed Medlen in the bullpen to start the season.
The result, Strasburg has thrown 156 innings this season with one start left while Medlen has pitched 50 innings less and will be available for the playoffs! Its hard to argue with the Braves logic right now as the Braves are 7-0 SU and 7-0 ATS in Medlen starts this season!
The Braves knew the value they had in Medlen as the team had won his past 11 starts in a row coming into this season. Combine that with this years totals and the Braves have won 18 straight Medlen starts.
The Braves roll of the dice has paid off as Medlen would have otherwise found the rotation before Mike Minor and Randall Delgado to open the season. Kudos to the Braves coachs and managment, they hit the nail on the head with this move!
Chris Elliot is a professional handicapper for Covers Experts.