Atlanta Braves right-hander Spencer Strider hasn’t been just one of the best rookie pitchers this year; he’s been one of the best pitchers in MLB, period. But an oblique strain currently clouds his playoff availability.
Strider has been out of action since Sept. 18, when he felt discomfort in his left oblique during a start. He’s been on the injured list since Sept. 24 and it’s unknown if he will be ready for the team’s first round of the playoffs, likely the National League Division Series. Strider threw off of flat ground without incident Tuesday, but his availability for the postseason will remain nebulous until he is able to throw off a mound, hopefully sometime later this week.
Strider is 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA this season. Among pitchers with at least 130 innings this season, he leads everyone in FIP (1.89) and K/9 rate (13.81). A couple of weeks before his injury, Strider struck out a franchise-record 16 batters over eight shutout innings versus the Rockies.
The Braves have +230 odds to win the NL pennant as of Oct. 4, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Only the Dodgers (+170) have shorter odds, and the Braves will need their star rookie hurler at full strength if they want to get past L.A.