Monday, August 9, 2021
Here’s a look at what’s ahead for the Braves this week, now just two games behind the first-place Phillies. If the offense will hit and the pitching remain hot, perhaps by week’s end Atlanta will be back where they belong: on top of the division.
ATLANTA BRAVES (57-55 / 2nd place)
Mon, August 9 – OFF
Tue, August 10 – vs. Reds (7:20 PM) / Drew Smyly, LHP
Wed, August 11 – vs. Reds (7:20 PM) / Touki Toussaint, RHP
Thu, August 12 – vs. Reds (5:10 PM) / Kyle Muller, LHP
Fri, August 13 – @ Nationals (7:05 PM) / Charlie Morton, RHP
Sat, August 14 – @ Nationals (6:05 PM) / TBD
Sun, August 15 – @ Nationals (1:05 PM) / TBD
The Braves were off today and then will finish up its current homestand with a three-game series versus the surging Reds — winners of their last five in a row and eight of their last ten. Starting on Friday the 13th (eww… scary), Atlanta will travel to D.C. to play a weekend set with the Nationals, and from there, they’ll play nine games total on the road before coming back home to begin a two-gamer versus the Yankees on August 23 and 24.
According to FanGraphs, recently-acquired outfielder Adam Duvall is the Braves hottest bat coming into Tuesday’s opener with the Reds. Over the last week of play, Duvall is hitting .263 with a pair of homers and seven RBI (167 wRC+) — good for 0.3 WAR. That’s not too shabby for a new player, especially one that was producing at a similar rate for a fellow division foe just a few weeks ago in the Marlins.
In the pitching department, Atlanta will have to wait until probably Friday (Game 1 vs. WAS) to get its current ace on the mound. Charlie Morton’s 2.8 WAR this season is tied for the 12th-most by a pitcher in the majors, and over his last three starts he sports a 2.65 ERA to go with 9.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. Max Fried, who’ll most likely start against the Nats at some point this coming weekend, is another hot hand the Braves will look to ride. Fried’s 0.7 WAR over the last 14 days is tied with six other pitchers for the second-most in baseball, and he already showed on Sunday that he’s overcome his career-long demons against Washington.
All-in-all, this is an opportune time to make up some more ground on the Phillies. Philly is also off today, with only the Marlins playing from the NL East. With the Phillies beginning a series with the Dodgers tomorrow, perhaps Atlanta can steal at least two of three from Cincy over the next several days, while LA takes care of business. Who knows… by this weekend the Braves could be back on top!
Ronald Acuna Jr., OF – 60-day IL (knee surgery)
Tucker Davidson, LHP – 60-day IL (forearm)
Grant Dayton, LHP – 60-day IL (shoulder)
Mike Soroka, RHP – 60-day IL (Achilles)
Huascar Ynoa, RHP – 60-day IL (hand) rehab assignment
Travis d’Arnaud, C – 60-day IL (thumb) rehab assignment
Ian Anderson, RHP – 10-day IL (shoulder) rehab assignment
Eddie Rosario, OF – 10-day IL (abdominal) TBD
Marcell Ozuna, OF – 10-day IL (finger) TBD
NL EAST STANDINGS (8/9/21)
- Phillies – 59-53
- Braves – 57-55 (2 GB)
- Mets – 56-55 (2 ½ GB)
- Nationals – 50-62 (9 GB)
- Marlins – 47-65 (12 GB)