The Braves will enter the series with a 14.5 game lead in the National League East and will have an opportunity to extend that lead even further with a series win.
This should be an exciting series for a couple of reasons, however none more intriguing than the recent bad blood between these two rivals. Last time they played, the benches cleared after Nationals star Bryce Harper was hit by a pitch on the first pitch of an at bad following a long Harper homerun. It will be interesting to see if the Nationals choose to retaliate and the events that could follow that.
In addition to the lingering bad blood between the teams, they are playing very good baseball. Atlanta has won 17 on their last 19 games, where the Nationals are coming off back-to-back series wins since being swept by the Braves.
This is also a series that features three very good pitching matchups. On Friday, we will see two rookies on the hill, Alex Wood will square off against the Nationals Taylor Jordan. This could be a preview of a pitching matchup that we see for years to come, as both prospects are slated to be in the Major League rotations beyond this year.
Saturday night, both aces will get the ball in a matchup that features Mike Minor vs. Stephen Strasburg. Minor has been absolutely brilliant for the Braves and will look to build on what has been an encouraging season. Stephen Strasburg on the other hand has had a frustrating season. He has looked stellar at times, but hasn’t had much run support for the majority of the year. Runs will be at a premium in this contest.
Sunday’s pitching matchup of Julio Tehran vs. Gio Gonzalez features a rematch of a game August 6th where both pitchers threw well. The 2-1 score in score in that game really sums up the quality of pitching in that contest, and if those pitchers can repeat those performances, it should be another great, low scoring game.
Atlanta leads the season series 10 games to 3 going into tonight’s game.
Pitching Matchups - ATL vs. WSH