Posted August 20, 2013 02:26 pm

GreenJackets and Legends set to face off in crucial series

The Augusta GreenJackets and Lexington Legends played each other a lot in the first couple months of the season, to the point where the two became very familiar with one another. It's only fitting the two teams are fighting it out for the second-half division title.


The GreenJackets lead the Legends by 2.5 games entering a three-game series that begins tonight. The two teams have six games left against each other this season, meaning the potential is there for a large swing in the standings in either direction with only a couple weeks to go.


The GreenJackets are 10-3 against the Legends this season, but they haven't played each other since early June. They played each other 11 times in April, and Augusta took three of four in the opening series, a three-game sweep in the middle of the month, and three of four at the end of the month.


The two split two games in early June, with the third game canceled by rain.


The GreenJackets will start Martin Agosta in the series opener tonight at 7:05 p.m. against Lexington's Daniel Stumpf. Agosta has thrown 23 innings over four starts against the Legends, allowing two earned runs and three total with 34 strikeouts. Things have changed some for Agosta since, suffering through blister issues, but he responded in his return last time out with three hitless innings and four strikeouts against Greenville.


The GreenJackets will start Kendry Flores on Wednesday at 12:05. Flores has been equally solid against Lexington this season, allowing two runs with eight strikeouts in 12 innings. He faces Christian Binford, who has a 2.38 ERA with 125 strikeouts in 125 innings this season. This matchup has the potential to be one of the best this season.


Chris Stratton faces Crawford Simmons in the series finale on Thursday at 7:05. Stratton has faced the Legends just once this season, throwing five innings of one-run ball in the first series of the year. Simmons, drafted in the 14th round in 2009 out of Statesboro High School in Georgia, has a 3.15 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 60 innings. He hasn't faced Augusta this season.


Aside from the two series against the Legends, the GreenJackets will face Hickory over the weekend, followed by a season-ending series at Asheville. The Crawdads are 32-25 and four games back in the second-half standings of the Northern Division. The Tourists are 21-35 and sit last in the Southern Division, just one game away from being eliminated for the second half.


The Legends play Greenville for three games between the two Augusta series, followed by a season-ending series against West Virginia. While the Drive are near the bottom in the South, the Power are 35-21 and a half-game out of first in the North.