The Atlanta Braves take on the Washington Nationals in the first game of a four-game series on Thursday, September 21. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park. Max Fried (7-1, 2.64 ERA) will take the mound for the Braves, and Jake Irvin (3-6, 4.34) will pitch for the Nationals.
Atlanta enters as -265 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Washington coming in at +215. The run total is set at 9.
Braves-Nationals picks: Thursday, September 21
Out: RP Collin McHugh (right shoulder inflammation), SP Michael Soroka (right forearm inflammation)
Out: LHP Mackenzie Gore (finger), OF Travis Blankenhorn (foot), C Riley Adams (hand)
Max Fried vs. Jake Irvin
In Fried’s most recent start, he let up one earned run in five innings and recorded six strikeouts against the Phillies, the second time this month in which he’s allowed one or fewer runs — he currently has an ERA of 2.00 for the month of September. When he pitched against the Nationals earlier this season, he let up one run in 3.1 innings.
Irvin allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings in his most recent start against the Brewers. In his latest home start, he let up one earned run in six innings against the Dodgers, recording four strikeouts.
The Braves’ bullpen has been letting up plenty of runs lately, and their batting lineup ranks first in MLB in runs per game. I think we should see a high-scoring matchup in today’s game.
Pick: Over 9
The Nationals won two of three against the White Sox in their latest series, and the Braves dropped two of three against the Phillies. The Braves have lost five of their last six. They’ve already clinched their division, so it’s not the end of the world, but the bullpen has been struggling as of late. I’ll pick the home team here, especially with some concern regarding Fried developing a blister on his pitching hand.
Pick: Nationals +215