Braves @ Nationals Series Preview
Game 1: April 9, 7:05 @ Nationals Park Projected Starters: Julio Teheran(ATL) 0-0 10.13 ERA Max Scherzer(WAS) 1-1 1.64 ERA Game 2: April 10. 7:05 @ Nationals Park Projected Starters: Mike Foltynewicz(ATL) 1-0 2.61 ERA Stephen Strasburg(WAS) 1-1 3.65 ERA Game 3: April 11, 1:05 @ Nationals Park Projected Starters: Brandon McCarthy(ATL) 2-0 3.97 ERA A.J. Cole(WAS) 0-1 24.55 ERA
The Braves are flying into this series after winning their third straight series to open the season. One of those series wins was against the Nationals in the second series of the year at SunTrust Park. The Braves will be looking to stay hot against the Nationals who are losers of five straight.
Before last season, the Brave had a 1-19 record at Nationals park combined during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. However, last season the Braves went 6-4 at Nationals Park and averaged over 7 runs a game.
Julio Teheran will be looking to shake off his first two starts of the season with a strong outing at Nationals Park where he has had success in the past. He threw seven shutout innings in a start up their last season. In his only start against the Nationals this season he gave up 5 earned through 2.1 innings pitched. His command seems to be off but he will need settle in tonight against Scherzer, who the Braves already knocked around the park once this season.
Game two will be an electric matchup. Both Folty and Strasburg have electric fastballs and both can rack up the strike outs when they are on. Strasburg has had quite the rollercoaster ride against the Braves. He has been knocked around and yanked early plenty of times and has also gone seven strong plenty of times against the Braves. Still, if both pitchers are on, this will be a fun game to watch for those young pitchers out there
Game three features a game manager and a young 26-year-old trying to make a name for himself. A.J. Cole in his only start this, which was against the Braves, was treated like he was throwing batting practice. The Braves scored ten runs in 3.2 innings against him. Cole did hit a homerun that game so he still came away with one positive.
Brandon McCarthy has been exactly what the Braves hoped he would be when they acquired him in the Matt Kemp trade. He has gotten the Braves to at least the 6th inning in both of his starts and has allowed no more than three runs in his two starts. With the way the Braves have been swinging the bats, that has been more than enough to get the job done. Especially when the Brave have given him 18 runs of support combined in his two starts.
For the Braves to win another series against the Nationals the bullpen will need to be sharp again and the offense must continue to give the starting pitchers runs to work with. Also, it be key to make Bryce Harper come up to bat with no one on base as six of his eight hits this season have been homeruns.
Series Prediction: Braves win their 4th straight series by taking 2 out of 3 from the Nationals
Bold Prediction: Julio Teheran throws 8 shutout innings in Game 1.
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