Red-Hot Braves Hosting Reeling Nationals
National League East Division rivals are set to meet up on Saturday night to continue their three-game weekend series when the Atlanta Braves host the Washington Nationals. Atlanta picked up an 8-4 win in the series opener, and this is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions.
Washington made a surge in May and June, but this team ripped apart its roster at the Trade Deadline after falling out of the race. The Nationals come into Saturday with a record of 49-61, and they have been bad since the All-Star Break.
Atlanta has now won four straight games to improve its record to 56-54 on the year. The Braves have not played up to their expectations in 2021, but they are right back in the middle of the playoff race with two months to go.
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Lack of Pitching Hurting Nationals
The Washington Nationals traded away Max Scherzer at the Trade Deadline, and Stephen Strasburgh is currently out with an injury. That has put Washington in a major bind when it comes to the starting rotation.
The Nationals come into Saturday night with a team ERA of 4.47, and the pitching staff has really struggled to get outs of late. Josiah Gray is expected to take the mound for this game, and he has gone 0-0 with a 4.85 earned run average in limited duty this season.
Washington has struggled to score runs throughout the 2021 season, but there were a couple of players that were hitting well. Kyle Schwarber hit 25 home runs for Washington, and Trea Turner led the team with a .322 batting average, but both players are now playing on different teams.
The Nationals are not expected to be very competitive over the next few weeks, and they are facing a very motivated Braves team in this game.
Braves Finding Some Offense
The Atlanta Braves have scored at least six runs in each of their last four games, and this team has some red-hot hitters at the plate. Atlanta did go out and make some additions at the Trade Deadline, and that has led to a much better offensive attack.
Atlanta has blasted 154 home runs this season, and there is plenty of power up and down the lineup. The addition of Jorge Soler has worked out well for Atlanta as he has been showing off his power since joining the team.
Freddie Freeman now has his batting average up to .296 on the year, and he is also leading the way with 24 home runs. Freeman proved that he could carry the team a season ago, but he does seem to have more help this time around.
Charlie Morton starts for Atlanta on Saturday night, and he has gone 10-4 with a 3.69 earned run average this season. Morton won’t have to be dominant in this game as he should be getting plenty of run support.
Atlanta Routs Nationals on Saturday Night
Washington waved the white flag at the trade deadline, and it is going to be a rough two-month stretch to finish out the year for the Nationals. This team just doesn’t have the pitching left to compete, and the offense is now without two of the biggest stars.
Atlanta has really struggled to find consistency this season, but it looks as if the Braves are ready to go on a big run. They are still capable of winning the NL East, and this is a series that should allow them to take advantage of the matchup.
Don’t expect this game to be close, as the Braves will jump out to an early lead and then cruise to another win over Washington. Head to BetUS Sportsbook and take the Atlanta Braves -1.5 over the Washington Nationals in another blowout win for the home team.