2019-09-05 18:20:00 EDT
The Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves meet in the opener of a four game NL East division set from SunTrust Park in MLB action on Thursday.
The Washington Nationals will look to bounce back after dropping the rubber match of their series with the Mets following an 8-4 loss in Wednesday’s series finale. Anthony Rendon went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBIs while Trea Turner and Asdrubal Cabrera each added an RBI to cap off the Nationals’ scoring in the loss. Victor Robles added a double while Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmerman, Gerardo Parra, Anibal Sanchez and Howie Kendrick each added a base knock to finish off Washington’s offense as a team in the defeat. Sanchez took the loss, falling to 8-7 on the year after allowing seven runs on eight hits while walking three over five innings of work. Stephen Strasburg will start game one and is 16-5 with a 3.47 ERA and 215 strikeouts this season. In his career, Strasburg is 14-11 with a 4.06 ERA and 222 strikeouts against Atlanta.
The Atlanta Braves will look to add to their current six game winning streak after a sweep of Toronto with a 7-2 win over the Jays in Tuesday’s series finale. Josh Donaldson and Tyler Flowers each had a double and three RBIs while Ozzie Albies added an RBI to round out Atlanta’s scoring as a team in the win. Ronald Acuna Jr. had a triple and Freddie Freeman went 2 for 3 with a double while Rafael Ortega chipped in a base hit to finish off the Braves’ offense in the win. Mike Foltynewicz got the win to improve to 5-5 on the year after tossing five shutout innings, giving up three walks on the way to the victory. Max Fried will start game one and is 15-4 with a 4.05 ERA and 150 strikeouts this season. In his career, Fried is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA and 8 strikeouts against Washington.
Washington is 41-11 in Strasburg’s last 52 division starts and 5-0 in their last 5 road games while the over is 5-1-1 in their last 7 games overall. Atlanta is 20-6 in Fried’s last 26 starts, 12-1 in Fried’s last 13 starts against a team with a winning record and 30-12 in their last 42 home games while the under is 4-1-1 in Fried’s last 6 home starts. Washington is 12-5 in Strasburg’s last 17 starts against Atlanta and 7-1 in Strasburg’s last 8 road starts against the Braves.
You could make a case for the Nationals here as Strasburg’s gone 3-0 against Atlanta this season and has been dominant for stretches, while also being arguably Washington’s best and most consistent pitcher this season. However, Washington probably isn’t going to catch Atlanta in the division, and the Nats are probably safe as far as the wild card goes. I mean anything can happen, but I think that Washington is in a good enough spot that they’ll grab wins here and there and solidify their position. Atlanta is a strong team at home, and while Fried hasn’t had his best stuff lately, that hasn’t stopped Atlanta from winning each of Fried’s last 8 starts. I just think that Atlanta and plus money at home is some solid value, so I’ll take a shot at Atlanta drawing first blood on Thursday.