Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Preview (4/4 + 4/6)
The Washington Nationals will begin their 2016 season with a two-game series in Turner Field against the Braves
Today is the day that the Washington Nationals get their 2016 season underway as they take on the Braves in a mini two-game series at Turner Field. Last season, the Nationals dominated the Braves as they went 14-5 in their 19 meetings (won five of their last seven games) and scored 112 runs in those meetings, which was the most the Nats scored against any team.
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For the Braves, it is expected to be a bad season as they continue their path of rebuilding, but they were still one of the winners of the offseason. Their front office, led by president John Hart, acquired some great young prospects (Dansby Swanson and Sean Newcomb) in trades involving Shelby Miller and Andrelton Simmons and some good everyday players in Ender Inciarte (D’Backs) and Erick Aybar (Angels).
Of course, when you talk about Atlanta, the first name that comes to mind is their star first baseman, Freddie Freeman. Last season, Freeman played in 118 games and hit .276 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI’s to go with a .370 on-base percentage. In his career against the Nationals, he is a career .338 hitter in 86 games with nine home runs and 44 RBI’s.
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Last season, Atlanta’s starting rotation was tenth in the National League in ERA (4.27). But, in the second half, their team ERA of 4.87 was the second worst in the NL, ahead of only the Colorado Rockies (5.30). Fredi Gonzalez will be hoping that young pitchers such as Matt Wisler can take the next step. In the bullpen, Jason Grilli returns as the closer after tearing his ACL last July.
So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at who has the edge in each of the two pitching matchups:
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