The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals continue their weekend series on Saturday, with the Nationals looking to make it four out of four this season against the National League East leaders. Washington swept a two-game series early in the season, then won the opener to this series Friday night.
The Atlanta Braves have been extremely hot as of late. Despite dropping their last game against the Nationals, they are 11-3 in their last 14 games. The Braves have got the bats going lately putting up big run numbers in their past 10 wins. Currently, Atlanta holds the top spot in the National League East, 4.5 games in front of the Phillies and 6.5 games up on Washington. It was newly acquired pitcher Dallas Kuechel for the Braves making his first start taking the loss in the series opener.
Starting for the Braves in the second game of the series will be 27-year-old Mike Foltynewicz. He is currently 2-5 after getting a win in his last game against the Phillies. He holds a 5.53 ERA and has 48 strikeouts on the season. A win against the Nationals on Saturday would be his first back-to-back wins of the season.
The Braves have a lot of young talent on their roster including Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, but almost all their batting stats are led by their 29-year-old first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman currently has a .315 average, 21 home runs, and 55 RBI, all of which lead the Braves. This is a hot team that looks to have all the tools to stay in control for the second half of the season.
The Nationals are currently in third place in the NL East (6.5 back). They are currently on a nice five-game win streak after defeating the Braves in the first game of this series. In their five-game streak, the Nationals have outscored their opponents by 26 runs.
Anibal Sanchez will get the start on the bump for the Nats in this second game against the Braves. Sanchez gave up two runs and took the win after pitching six innings in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
This brought Sanchez to 3-6 on the year with a 3.84 ERA and 59 strikeouts. In the month of June, he has taken two wins out of three games and only allowed one run in each of his starts before his last game. The Braves will be a tough matchup for Sanchez, but he has improved a lot lately and looks to put up a fight.
Much like the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals have talent everywhere in their lineup but are led in all key stats by one player, in this case, Anthony Rendon. The third baseman has a .313 batting average, 17 home runs, and 52 RBI, all leading numbers for Washington.
What to Expect
Both teams are hot, they play each other often, and have the talent to win any day of the week. I like the Braves to take the second game of this series and the over in what could turn into a shootout.